A 30-year legacy of leadership was celebrated Mon., Oct. 8 at the Pfister Hotel Grand Ballroom in Milwaukee with the retirement of President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin John Miller. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony to honor Miller and to celebrate Goodwill's proud past and promising future, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele; Jean Robinson, general counsel, NISH / Ability One; Vincent Lyles, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee; Jackie Hallberg, president and CEO-elect, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin; and Thomas Cook, executive director, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action. (Photo: John Miller (l) and Thomas Cook)
RFWiA and its members thank Mr. Miller for decades of inspirational leadership and innovation that delivered incredible, positive results for Wisconsin citizens.
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin is the largest of more than 179 Goodwill organizations in the world and has been providing services since 1919. More than 5,100 Goodwill employees work in 65 locations throughout its 23-county territory in southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. Their service territory consists of thirteen full or partial counties in southeastern Wisconsin, and ten full or partial counties in northeastern Illinois.
New Wisconsin Family Care Reform YouTube Channel launched in advance of Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing Oct. 17
Madison, Wis. – People with disabilities, families, and guardians have a new resource to help them get and keep important services in the Family Care program, the Wisconsin Family Care Reform Channel.
Recently, Family Care has been featured in news stories throughout the state, after disability rights attorney Rock Pledl filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs with developmental disabilities in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, DHS Secretary Dennis Smith, and three managed care organizations (MCOs) in the Family Care program. The defendants were charged with discrimination against people with developmental disabilities in violation of the civil rights provisions in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. The MCOs, Care Wisconsin, Community Health Partnership, and Northern Bridges were named in the lawsuit for making drastic cuts to the rates being paid to Adult Family Homes and Community-Based Residential Facilities for support services being provided to the plaintiffs. These rate cuts threaten the plaintiffs with the loss of their homes. Community Health Partnership has since announced it will close at the end of the year due to financial issues.
The Wisconsin Family Care Reform YouTube channel provides information and resources to help people understand Wisconsin’s long-term managed care program, which currently serves 57 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Highlights of the testimony from consumers and providers are featured in the channel’s introductory video, in addition to powerful, full-length testimony from some of the more than 500 consumers, families and providers who attended Family Care Advocacy Forums held in the Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire area, West Bend, Waukesha, and Portage.
By Marcia Jadodzinske, president and CEO, Riverfront, an RFWiA member.
when referring to a successful business person without a disability, we might rave about her entrepreneurial spirit or his great financial skills. But if a successful business person has a disability, we are inclined to refer to her first by her disability or speak in platitudes about how he has overcome his disability.
Business people with a disability are considered exceptional rather than people who used their talents well.
As a nation we have come a long way in creating physically accessible space at work and in our communities. Many sidewalks have curb cuts, schools have elevators and some parks have accessible paths. These changes have had a significant impact. People with disabilities have opportunities to go places and do things that were unavailable to earlier generations.
But as individuals and as a nation, we have not gone far enough. As individuals, employers, elected officials, educators and members of groups or organizations, we can change the face of our country. We will know we have succeeded when disability is no longer first in mind or not on our mind at all.
The Journal Sentinel is reporting that legislators have scheduled a public hearing Oct. 18 in Milwaukee to hear from consumers about problems with Medicaid transportatin provider LogistiCare. According to consumer complaints, the company isn't bothering to keep track of the problems people are having getting rides to important healthcare appointments.
IF YOU GO
- What: Informational hearing on LogistiCare by the state Senate's Committee on Health, Revenue, Tax Fairness and Insurance.
- Who: Officials from LogistiCare and Department of Health Services Medicaid director Brett Davis will be present along with transportation and medical care providers. The public is invited to make comments.
- When: Oct. 18 at 3 p.m.
- Where: Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee.
RFWiA members operate work centers and are the largest provider of community employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Wisconsin. This dual-purpose approach provides a choice for those who are not able, or do not want, to work at private businesses. There are advocates who are working to remove this choice from consumers, parents, and guardians, advocates who believe people must work in the community, and if they cannot, or if the job opportunities are not available, then folks should stay home, or get involved in day services of some type and not be allowed the choice to be employed at a work center.
Tune into the Wisconsin Family Care Reform channel on YouTube for important information about consumer rights and how to use them. Brought to you by Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action featuring disability Attorney Robert (Rock) Theine Pledl and C. Thomas Cook, Executive Director, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action.
The Journal Sentinel published an in-depth article about the problems plaguing consumers and sub-contractors under the new Mediciad transportation company Logisticare. Not only are people with disabilities and the frail elderly missing important medical appointments, but Logisticare is reimbursing its transportation sub-contractors at such a below-market rate that jobs are being eliminated.
"You're reimbursing these companies at such a low rate. You can't pay people a living wage. This is all supposed to be about small businesses setting up the economy. It seems the only company making money is LogistiCare. I really do think that somehow, some way, consumers are the ones that are suffering," said a transportation manager for the Milwaukee provider, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his job was threatened and he didn't want to risk losing other contracts.
Show your support throughout the year for businesses and organizations that employ people with disabilities. These important employment opportunities help drive Wisconsin’s economic growth in cities and rural areas alike, and allow people to live as independently as possible!
Here is a sampling of RFWiA members and social entrepreneurs to get you started:
- Best Events Catering and Special Events Production. A premier caterer in the Wisconsin and Illinois state line area providing the expertise and experience you deserve. Book your holiday party now!
- Mission Mop. The amazing 100% microfiber Mission® Mop offers superior cleaning performance on most hard surfaces - tile, finished wood, glass, metal and more.
- Goodwill Industries in Menasha, Madison, and Milwaukee have all your Halloween costume needs and more! Bid on that hard-to-find treasure online! Or ask the resident home décor and fashion experts advice.
- Greater Grain Gluten-Free Goods in Racine, Wis.
- Farmhouse Recipes. Wonderful jams, pickles and relishes, dry soup mixes, baking mixes and dips!
- Just for the Birds. Keep the wonderment of feathered friends close to home this fall with suet balls, bird feeders, and seed.
- Opportunities Inc. Custom Print and Design Services. With over 50 years of combined experience in the printing industry and graphic design, our knowledgeable team of experts will create a professional and affordable solution for you!
- The Local Oven in Prairie du Chien, featuring fresh, made from scratch products baked each morning. From classic bakery items like donuts and cinnamon rolls to authentic honest to goodness loaves of bread, all products are baked with simple ingredients and no preservatives.
- And brighten the season with an autumn mum from Opportunities Blooming.