Survival Coalition Wisconsin

The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations is a cross-disability coalition of more than 40 state and local organizations and groups. For more than 20 years, Survival has been focused on changing and improving policies and practices that support people with disabilities of all ages to be full participants in community life.

Updates

Survival Coalition submits comments on the CLTS waiver renewal

Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations and Family Voices of Wisconsin appreciates the opportunity to comment on the renewal application for the Children’s Long-Term Supports waiver. We recognize the attempts DHS used to obtain stakeholder input including virtual listening sessions with families and input from the DHS Council on Children’s Long-Term Supports. The CLTS waiver and current application reflects extensive collaboration between DHS, families and stakeholder groups. We believe this application represents the outstanding evolution of the support Wisconsin provides to families and children with disabilities. Read full comments.

Recognizing the Need to Address the Caregiver Crisis and Supports to Families in State Budget

Survival Coalition of more than 20 disability organizations continues to hear from people with disabilities, their families, and their supporters that the pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll, starkly accelerating the direct care worker crisis and leading to increased health and safety worries, more families leaving the workforce to care for loved ones, and high levels of stress. Survival surveyed people with disabilities who use home and community supports, along with their families. The results and stories in the attached report are worrisome and deserve immediate action in the state budget. Read full report.

SURVIVAL COALITION SUPPORTS INCREASING STATE INVESTMENT IN SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING

(MADISON) — On Thursday May 27 the Joint Finance Budget committee will be voting on special education funding for the 2021-2022 budget. Despite large number of parents and education advocates testifying about the need for increases in special education funding at state budget hearings this spring, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is only considering a small increase or perhaps no increase at all in special education funding.

This follows the first increase in over a decade in the last budget, which only brought the state’s share of special education funding to 29 percent. The state is paying less than one-third the cost to educate students with disabilities.

Wisconsin is emerging from a year-long interruption in schooling and services that impacted all children, but for children with disabilities and learning differences, the negative effects of the pandemic on their education goals will last for years. Read full press release.

URGENT –WE NEED YOU TO MAKE CALLS NOW TO SUPPORT FUNDING FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Despite large crowds of families, school districts, and education advocates at state budget hearings testifying about the need for special education funding this spring, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is only considering a small, if any increase at all in special education funding.

Currently the state is paying 29-30% of the costs to educate students with disabilities. Families say the pandemic has resulted in significant learning loss: 3 in 4 families are seeing skill regression; 2 in 3 are experiencing behavior challenges.

The state must do more. Make calls to the Joint Finance Budget committee TODAY and TOMORROW before their final votes Thursday morning to tell them they need to fund at least half of special education costs – or 50%.

Dial this number now and follow the easy steps to connect with each of the 16 Joint Finance members one after another. Calls just take 30 seconds or a 1 minute each. 608-315-5351

Here is a call-in action alert on this issue: https://actnow.io/uX4l4HI with more details.

Update May 18: COVID Cases and Deaths Among People with Disabilities and Older Adults in Wisconsin

(Madison) – The Survival Coalition of more than 30 disability organizations supports the work of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Governor Evers’ administration to share regularly updated data regarding the impacts of COVID-19 in Wisconsin’s Medicaid Adult Home and Community-Based Services system.  People with disabilities and older adults, particularly those who live in congregate or group settings are particularly vulnerable to the virus. Wisconsin’s long-term care program enrollment is 77,432 or approximately 1.4% of the WI population but accounts for more than 1/6 of all state COVID-19 deaths.

Survival Coalition is sharing the Department’s updated data weekly.

The following data was published on May 18, 2021 and can be accessed in detail here: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/hcbs/data.htm#cases
Read full report.

Medicaid Expansion is Good Policy for People with Disabilities; Direct Care Workforce

Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organization members have consistently supported Medicaid expansion. Medicaid provides access to critical services for many people with disabilities which are not available at all or to the degree needed in private insurance. Expanding Medicaid eligibility to a more reasonable poverty level will not only provide vital, comprehensive and affordable health care benefits to many people with complex conditions and mental health needs who struggle to manage their health and keep working, but will also increase the hours that direct care workers can contribute to supporting people with disabilities, without fear of falling off the benefits cliff. Read full statement.