The Messenger
April 4, 2023
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.
~Jack Layton
Your Voice Counts Today!
The Arc-Dane County Votes on April 4th!
Tips for Voting in Person

If you are voting in person, we have some tips for you:
  • Early voting may be still be available. Ask your clerk or check My Vote Wisconsin:
  • Polls are open on April 4th from 7 AM – 8 PM
  • Check your polling place – it may have changed: Find My Polling Place (
  • Bring your photo ID. See BRING IT TO THE BALLOT for info about photo ID.
  • Preview your ballot before you go to vote: What's On My Ballot (
  • Check your voter registration on My Vote Wisconsin
  • Know your voting rights: Voting Rights Fact Sheet
  • If you are unable to enter your polling place due to disability, curbside voting should be available. We recommend calling your clerk in advance to learn how to access curbside voting at your polling place.

Rides to the Polls April 2023 Election

The Disability Vote Coalition is pleased to share our Rides to the Polls for the April 2023 Spring Election. Rides to the Polls is a list of transportation providers around the state who may provide transportation for voting for people with disabilities and older adults.

Need a ride? Act now! Check the list to see if there is a transportation provider in your area and contact them soon. Most providers require advance notice.
If you have a question about Rides to the Polls or a voting question, contact the Disability Rights Wisconsin Voter Hotline at 844-347-8683 or
The program will begin at 11:00. More details, a timeline, social story, and practice guide will be sent out to participants and companions once they have registered. There is limited registration. Have questions? Contact Anne at 608-833-1199 or

Online registration for the Community Awards will open later this week. Keep an eye on our social media for details. Call 608-833-1999 or email with questions.
Time to play ball!
Player registration for the upcoming Miracle League of Dane County 2023 season will close on April 15th.

There are still a few open spots left so act quickly for your opportunity to participate in this fun and amazing activity.

Updates from The Arc

Senator Casey Introduces Bills to Support Students With Disabilities
On March 30, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced a suite of three bills to promote the safety of students with disabilities in K-12 settings and eliminate barriers that students with disabilities often face in higher education. Included in this suite of bills is the Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act, which would provide students with disabilities options to establish “proof” of their disability to secure the accommodations they need to thrive in postsecondary education.

The Arc is supportive of the RISE Act, as well as the two other bills introduced. You can read about all three bills here.

Education Secretary Issues Letter Calling for End of Corporal Punishment
On March 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to governors and school leaders calling for an end to the use of corporal punishment in schools, which is still permissible in 23 states. The letter states, “Despite years of research linking corporal punishment to poorer psychological, behavioral, and academic outcomes, tens of thousands of children and youth are subjected to beating and hitting or other forms of physical harm in school every academic year, with students of color and students with disabilities disproportionately affected.” You can read the full letter here.

Additionally, the Department of Education released guiding principles on how to maintain safe, inclusive, supportive, and fair schools. You can find the guiding principles document here.
Updates from Disability Policy News

Congress Introduces Multiple Bills Improve K-12 and Higher Education for Students with Disabilities
On March 30th, several pieces of legislation were introduced into the House of Representatives and the Senate that aim to improve the education of students with disabilities.
·    The Response, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act (S.1071 / H.R. 2401) was introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1). The RISE Act requires institutions of higher education to accept a student’s individualized education program (IEP), accommodation plan, or other prior evaluation as sufficient proof of disability when a student requests reasonable accommodations from a college or university, so they do not have to pay for additional evaluations to document a disability to receive reasonable accommodations. The bill also provides funding for technical assistance centers to train faculty on how to support students with disabilities and provides resources to students with disabilities and their families. AUCD supports the bill.
·    The Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education (SECuRE) Act (S. 1070 / H.R. 2421) was introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-6). The SECuRE Act will strengthen the Clery Act. “The Clery Act is a federal statute requiring institutes of higher education that receive federal financial aid
·    funding to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information.” The SECuRE Act “makes targeted improvements to the Clery Act to ensure the needs of people with disabilities are included in campus planning and response to incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. It also requires that materials provided to the campus community are available in accessible formats for people with disabilities.” AUCD supports the bill.
·    The Promoting Responsible Emergency Protocols (PREP) for All Students Act (S. 1072) was introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). The PREP Act will ensure “that public schools, early child care education centers, and institutions of higher education have the tools they need to develop inclusive emergency preparedness protocols.” Specifically, the PREP Act would establish a federal advisory council to develop guidelines for accessible, developmentally appropriate, culturally aware, and trauma informed emergency preparedness protocols. There is no House companion bill yet.

Plain Language
On March 30th, Senators and Representatives, introduced bills to make education safer and more accessible to students with disabilities.  The Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act will make it easier for students with disabilities to get accommodations in college.  The Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education (SECuRE) Act will create programs to keep students with disabilities safe from crime on campus. The Promoting Responsible Emergency Protocols (PREP) for All Students Act will try to keep all students with disabilities safe during emergencies in schools.

Action Steps
Read more about the RISE, SECuRE, and PREP for All Students Acts. Call and educate your members of Congress about the importance of improving K-12 and higher education for students with disabilities. You can reach your Members of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Wisconsin Facets April Newsletter

Tornado Safety for Children with Autism
By Wendy Overturf

"While the focus of this month’s newsletter is autism, the tips included on weather safety may be helpful to anyone, especially those with different abilities. Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin typically takes place in April and the statewide tornado drill will be on April 20, 2023. This annual campaign encourages everyone in the state of Wisconsin to prepare for the tornadoes and severe storms the state frequently experiences during the spring and summer months. It is also a perfect opportunity for families to review and practice severe weather safety procedures. While it is important to prepare all family members for the possibility of a tornado, it may be even more important if your child has autism."

Read more tornado precautions as well as the entire April Newsletter here.
Who's ready for more
Fishing with Bob?

The May date is already filled!

Our second Dane County date is Sunday June 25th from 1:00 - 3:00. Join us at the Jenni & Kyle Preserve for a fun afternoon of fishing and friends.
Want to stay connected or get connected to The Arc-Dane County?
We are currently updating our contact lists for the New Year and would love to hear from you if you would like to be added to our email list or if there have been any changes in your contact information that you'd like us to update.

Please email Heather at and I will get you all up to date. Thanks and Happy New Year!
COVID-19 Information--Stay safe. Stay Informed.
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