Goodwill Industries Of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc .

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Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc.Employment First Statement of SupportOctober 18, 2017Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. (Goodwill SEW) provides training,employment, and supportive services to individuals with disabilities and disadvantageswho seek greater independence. As a member of both Rehabilitation for Wisconsin andWisconsin APSE, Goodwill SEW supports efforts by these groups and others topromote competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin.During 2016, Goodwill SEW supported 384 individuals with disabilities in SupportedEmployment, moving participants in this program into 127 competitive jobs at anaverage of 8.32 per hour for an average of 14.5 hours per week.Goodwill SEW supports increased collaboration among the Department of WorkforceDevelopment, the Department of Health Services, and the Department of PublicInstruction to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities.Encouraging greater workforce participation by Wisconsin residents with disabilities willhelp address our state’s labor shortage and tap the talents and dedication of anunderutilized population of potential workers.Goodwill SEW continues to support the rights of individuals with disabilities to choosefrom a range of service options and settings.For additional information, please contact:Elizabeth McNallyVice President, Public Policy and Research414-847-4118emcnally@goodwillsew.com

Bethesda, a provider of intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) supports since 1904, is fullycommitted to work toward increased community-based, integrated employment opportunities for all individualswith ID/DD. Bethesda is a national, non-profit organization with our headquarters in Watertown, Wisconsin. Weprovide services of residential, day programs, and employment supports in the Wisconsin cities of Watertown,Waterloo, Fond du Lac, and Fox Lake. Our employment supports are in Dodge and Jefferson Counties.In that spirit, Bethesda enthusiastically endorses the bill sponsored by Wisconsin Representatives Edming,Anderson and Senator Tiffany to increase integrated employment opportunities for people with significantdisabilities at competitive prevailing wages.Wisconsin state system and funding streams, as well as provider supports systems, must align with the conceptthat all people, with or without a disability, can participate fully in the community and integrated employmentopportunities.Bethesda, through our Career Connections, services is working with an average of 25 individuals per month tofind employment in the community and to make dreams become a reality. We have seen Ron be able to moveinto his own apartment and Robert who has gone from needing 2 staff plus a job developer with him at all timesto working independently with natural supports at his job.With an unemployment rate of 3.2 %, a full percentage point below the national average, and a labor forceparticipation rate exceeding the national average by 5 percentage points, Wisconsin employers stand to benefitgreatly from this initiative and reap the rewards of the talents and commitment Wisconsinites with disabilitiesbring to the workforce. With employment rates roughly half of people without disabilities, this bill will also helpaddress Wisconsin’s labor shortage.By aligning all state agencies in this cooperative effort to increase meaningful employment opportunities forpeople with significant disabilities, Wisconsin’s workforce will be more diverse, productive and efficient.Bethesda stands ready to recommit our experience and expertise to this worthwhile effort.Mike ThirtlePresident and CEOBethesda Lutheran CommunitiesEmail: mike.thirtle@mailblc.orgCell: 815-762-0314

October 18, 2017Members of Rehabilitation for Wisconsin in Action, the largest employment provider association in thestate, are committed to supporting the goals of individuals with disabilities to achieve CompetitiveIntegrated Employment and we therefore support the intent of LRB-0753, the Employment First bill.We also support, and this bill affirms, the ability of an individual to access the services of their choice,including facility based programs, sheltered workshops, enclaves, Ability One employment and workthrough the State Use program. We have worked with the bill’s authors to ensure that this choiceremain available and intact for all Wisconsin’s residents.We strongly support the provision in the bill that requires the Department of Health Services to outline astudy regarding the impact of changing employment policies and practices. We will continue to work toensure that the array of services available to individuals are enhanced and that people with disabilitiescontinue to have access to high quality supports that help them live their lives and achieve their goals.Sincerely,Lincoln J. BurrLincoln J. BurrExecutive Director

Black River Industries Mission Statement:“In partnership with the community, provide people with disabilitiesopportunities to achieve the highest level of independence.”Black River Industries, Inc. has served people living with disabilities for almost 45 years in acommitment to achieving the highest level of independence possible for each individual. Black RiverIndustries, Inc. is founded on strong convictions that all people are able to contribute to theircommunities through work and meaningful advancement. It is with this conviction that we provide allsupport services to assist individuals at work and home, because without each person we are not a fullcommunity.Representative Edming has embodied this same spirit and enthusiasm for all people to contribute inmeaningful ways to their community through work each and every time he has visited our facility.Representative Edming with Representative Anderson and Senator Tiffany have full support of BlackRiver Industries, Inc. as they move forward with this Employment First Bill creating more opportunityfor people with disabilities to choose how they contribute to their community. The work on this bill hasbeen diligent in opening doors to competitive employment while being very careful to maintain aperson’s right to choose their own path in life. This respect for people and enthusiasm to empowerabilities is foremost in the Employment First Bill.The cooperative efforts encouraged in this Employment First Bill will move Wisconsin forward in ouremployment efforts and assist in unlocking the potential of some of our best people. Black RiverIndustries, Inc. is excited to continue working with legislators and others in the state to createcompetitive options for people with disabilities to choose how they can make a difference.Amber Fallos, MS, MSE, BSWDirectorBlack River Industries, IncBlack River Industries, 650 Jensen Drive, Medford, WI 54451Phone: 715-748-2950 Fax: 715-748-6363www.blackriverindustries.orgBlack River Industries is affiliated with Catholic Charities Bureau, Diocese of Superior

September 18, 2017Special Olympics Wisconsin is pleased to see the State of Wisconsin agencies collaborateto prioritize employment outcomes for people with disabilities.Our mission at Special Olympics Wisconsin is to provide health programs and sports tosupporting 10,000 athletes in every county in our state . We see first-hand both thehealth and economic benefits to our athletes when they work in the community. Weknow that many of our athletes not only compete in sports but have an active andfulfilled life which includes working in all our communities throughout the state .Wisconsin Special Olympics knows that with high expectations and expandedopportunities, people with even the most significant disabilities can be moreindependent, healthier, and less reliant on public supports. We are happy to supportthis expanded opportunity for our athletes.Respectfully,Kathleen J. Roach , MPH, MBAPresident & CEOSpecial Olympics Wisconsin2310 Crossroads Drive, Suite 1000, Madison, WI 53718 Tel (608) 222-1324 Toll-Free (800) 552-1324 Fax (608) 222-3578www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org Email info@specialolympicswisconsin.org Twitter @sowisconsinCreated by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities

TO:FROM:DATE:RE:All LegislatorsSurvival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability OrganizationsOctober 19, 2017Support for LRB-0753 Employment of People with DisabilitiesSurvival Coalition enthusiastically supports LRB-0753 – The Employment First bill – and thanksRepresentatives Edming and Anderson and Senator Tiffany for their leadership on this importantissue.Survival Coalition supports competitive, integrated employment as the outcome of publicprograms for people with disabilities. We believe everyone can work in integrated jobs atminimum wage or higher with the right job fit and the right supports. Survival’s support ofintegrated employment is based on data showing that employment for people with disabilitiesresults in improved health, social and economic benefits, and reduced overall reliance on publicbenefits that impact all of society.Wisconsin has done a good job of supporting employment opportunities for people withdisabilities, but our data shows we can do better. This bill will make a huge difference.A People First Wisconsin survey of self-advocates with disabilities showed that nearly half saythey do not have enough or the right supports to be successful on the job. Wisconsin’s 2015-16National Core Indicators Survey of people with disabilities in Family Care and IRIS long-termcare programs shows that only 15% of working age people have a job in the community; of thosewithout a paid community job, 41% said they would like one.Survival Coalition members often hear how people with disabilities get caught up in thebureaucracy of the system that is meant to support them to find and keep a job. Several stateagencies have responsibilities to fund services to help youth and adults with disabilities get jobs,but the services are often fragmented and sometimes duplicated.This bill requires state agencies to analyze and share their data, set benchmarks for improvementand align policies to fix these problems.Our members have worked diligently with employment providers in this state, includingRehabilitation for Wisconsin (RFW), to ensure this bill does not limit choice to allowable services.We are appreciative of their support of this bill.

We will work enthusiastically with the bill authors and other supportive legislators to ensure fullimplementation of this legislation and ultimately the increased opportunities for people withdisabilities in our state. We urge the full support of the legislature.If you would like to co-sponsor this bill, please contact Tyler in Representative Edming’s office at(608) 266-7506 or email at Tyler.Longsine@legis.wisconsin.gov .Survival Coalition is comprised of more than 30 statewide disability organizations that advocateand support policies and practices that lead to the full inclusion, participation, and contribution ofpeople living with disability.Survival Co-Chairs:Maureen Ryan, moryan@charter.net; (608) 444-3842;Beth Swedeen, beth.swedeen@wisconsin.gov; (608) 266-1166;Kristin M. Kerschensteiner, kitk@drwi.org; (608) 267-0214;Lisa Pugh, pugh@thearc.org; (608) 422-4250Survival Coalition Issue Teams: education, employment, housing, long term care for adults, longterm care for children, mental health, transportation, workforce, voting, Medicaid and health care.Real Lives, Real Work, Real Smart, WisconsinInvesting in People with Disabilities

Wisconsin Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition Supports Employment First BillAuthored by Representative Edming, Representative Anderson, and Senator TiffanyThe Wisconsin Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (WIDSAC) serves thousands of peoplewith Down syndrome and their families across the state by collaborating with legislatorsand disability advocacy groups to inform policymakers about the needs of Wisconsin’sDown syndrome community.Chief among the needs of our community are improved employment prospects andoutcomes for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities. We believe strongly thatit is in the best interest of individuals with Down syndrome and the community at large toprovide an atmosphere that fosters inclusion in the work‐place and opportunities forpeople of all abilities to maintain gainful employment. Such an atmosphere allowsindividuals with Down syndrome to more fully integrate into their communities and,ultimately, lead fulfilling and independent lives. Additionally, employment opportunitiesfor individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities will help close the gap betweenWisconsinites seeking employment and the thousands of open positions across the state.WIDSAC supports the proposed legislation, which requires the various state agenciessupporting people with disabilities in Wisconsin’s work force to collaborate and aggregatedata related to the services they are providing. The legislation will help to advance our goalof creating a fully integrated employment environment for people with Down syndrome.We believe that such collaboration is essential to meeting the employment needs of ourcommunity and are heartened by the legislature’s attention to this issue.Sincerely,Joseph D. BrydgesMadison Area Down Syndrome ww.madss.orgDawn NuofferDown Syndrome Association of Wisconsin, Inc.Executive Directordawn@dsaw.orgwww.dsaw.orgRobbin Thomas LyonsWisconsin Upside DownPresidenttomtalent@aol.comwww.wiusd.org

Black River Industries, 650 Jensen Drive, Medford, WI 54451 Phone: 715-748-2950 Fax: 715-748-6363 www.blackriverindustries.org Black River Industries is affiliated with Catholic Charities Bureau, Diocese of Superior Black River Industries Mission Statement: “In partnership with the community, provide people with disabilitiesFile Size: 1MB

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