Employment Network News: June 2017
Employment Network News: June 2017
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2017 Disability Pride Fest
The 5th annual Disability Pride Festival will be held on Saturday July 29th from 12p.m. to 5p.m. at Tenney Park in Madison, near where the Yahara River empties into Lake Mendota. Each year, the festival brings together artists, performers, advocates, and organizations to celebrate the contributions made by people with disabilities to the local community. Well-known local talent such as Tara Ayres, Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars, First Wave performers Lewis Elder, and others have graced the stage in previous years. This year, Gaelynn Lea, winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Competition, is coming back. New groups of performers will be joining the fun as well. Visit the website for more information!
Changes to Medicaid and the AHCA
The U.S. Senate has come out with their own version of American Health Care Act (AHCA). The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the AHCA this week. There is a lot at stake for Wisconsin in this vote. The AHCA cuts federal Medicaid funding by 25% over 10 years and eliminates key health care protections for children and adults with disabilities. Estimates indicate Wisconsin could lose $1 billion in funding and put many essential programs and supports for children/adults with disabilities and seniors at risk.
There have been no public hearings held on these major proposed changes. These significant cuts to Medicaid mean cuts to Wisconsin programs like Family Care, IRIS, the Children’s waiver, BadgerCare, mental health programs like CCS, Katie Beckett, SeniorCare, autism services, therapies like OT, PT and Speech, personal care, supports provided in schools and even Aging and Disability Resource Centers. Many of these are “optional services” in Medicaid and are at significant risk of being cut or eliminated.
In addition, the Senate is also debating things such as even larger cuts to Medicaid, weakening protections for people with disabilities and other pre-existing conditions by allowing states to charge them more for health care, and allowing states to stop providing Essential Health Benefits (rehabilitative services and devices, mental health services, prescription drug coverage, etc...).
We encourage people to contact the Wisconsin Senators to ask questions and share their thoughts about this bill.
Ever want just one day where everything goes right? In this month's entry, Stacy shares how she was bound and determined to make that day happen, but, sometimes, life throws you unexpected curves. We encourage you to share your experiences as well.
- ABLE Act Tool: A brief was recently released that explains how provisions in the ABLE Act can be combined with federal benefit services and other federal programs to further competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. Learn more about this tool.
- TechCheck: A new free interactive tool helps organizations and businesses evaluate their accessible workplace technology efforts and find resources to develop them further. Check it out!
- "Steps to Success": "Steps to Success" is a toolkit that provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities. Learn strategies how to provide a platform for the exploration of best practices for increasing the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disabilities.
- Helping College Grads Find Employment: A pilot program called, "Campus to Careers," matches graduates with local businesses so employers can find talented employees with disabilities. Find out how this program works.
- Outstanding Company: This employer started out small, but has turned his company into a great opportunity for people with disabilities. Read about what he has done to give people not only an opportunity to work, but also a chance to explore the outdoors.
- Stretch of Gains Continue: The disability employment rate continues to increase according to reports. Learn why this is.
- Unlocking Talent and Potential: Recently, more and more companies are turning disabilities into a competitive advantage. Read about how employers are finding that people with disabilities often have unique abilities that can bring something to their companies.
- Wisconsin Among the Top States for Disability Employment: According to a recent report, Wisconsin is becoming a national leader in employing people with disabilities. Learn what is contributing to this.
- RISE Act: The RISE Act amends the Higher Education Act and addresses several existing issues within the law that serve as unnecessary barriers for students with disabilities and their families. Find out what else it would do.
- Facebook Employment Study: A study is being conducted of adults with physical disabilities on employment. Find out how to participate.
- Caregiver Awards: Do you know a caregiver or team that deserves to be honored for the great work they do? The Wisconsin Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance’s Annual Caregiver Awards recognize these outstanding individuals and teams working tirelessly in all service locations. Nominations are due August 18th.
Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the Employment Network:
- Disability Pride Festival: July 29th, 12p.m. to 5p.m., Tenney Park, Madison WI
Post your event on the Employment Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Conta