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Advocacy

URGENT Action Needed!

September 12, 2019

Dear Family Members, Guardians, Caregivers and Participants:

We need to meet soon!  For many years we have been discussing the fact that the State of Wisconsin has been inching towards community employment for all.  In the past couple of years we have seen a more consistent push for all participants working in a sheltered setting (like Careers) to have a community employment goal.  These goals are monitored by the funders to assure that people are at least making progress towards eventually moving into a job in the community.

We have seen a few participants told that they cannot come here when the participant (or their parent/guardian) have said they do not want to work in the community.  Those former participants now sit at home.

We have now an even more alarming situation!  This week a Care Manager (from a funder) told a participant’s interdisciplinary team that between now and next year the participant would lose a day of service each month until they are finally exited from Careers in March.  This decision was made by the funder because this particular participant “would not work in the community”!!!!!

The Managed Care organizations who control the money still preach that they respect and promote participant choice.  That is not completely true as the only choice is GET A JOB OR STAY HOME.

As a family member or guardian you are being told what is best for your loved one and that there is only one option.  We all know that a one-size fits all approach never works.

If all of that is not bad enough, we are now hearing that participants in Day Services (where work is not a part of their day) will be given the same choice – GET A JOB OR STAY HOME.

I spend a lot of my time advocating for our participants and fighting for their rights.  I am told regularly that “I am only concerned about my job”.  Despite this I will always fight for participant choice and a full range of services to meet the needs of people with various abilities.  We will continue to leave no stone unturned when a participant wants to work in the community to assure that he/she has that opportunity.  Careers proudly and successfully places many people into community jobs every year.

The only real chance we have to fix this situation is to get family members involved again.  Fifty years ago parents had to rise up and demand services for their disabled children – now those hard fought services that you secured are being taken away, one participant at a time.

I am holding an all parents/guardians/ caregivers/interested party meeting at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, September 25 in Racine and at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 2 in Burlington.

I will provide sample letters that you can personalize to send to your legislators at these meetings.  Directions to the facilities can be found on our new website at www.careersindustries.com.

The rumors we have been hearing are TRUE, the time to act is now!

Sincerely,

Joe Greene

Executive Director

 

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