The Messenger
March 7, 2023
“I am different but not less.”
~Temple Grandin
***Nomination Deadline is
Friday March 31***
Silent Auction Donations Needed

The Arc-Dane County Board of Directors encourages your company to donate item(s) of value to The Arc Dane County’s 2023 Community Awards Banquet. The Banquet will be held Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at Quivey’s Grove in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

The goal of our silent auction is to fundraise enough money to continue creating inclusive activities, social events, education, celebrations, and advocacy for our I/DD community in Dane County.

Auction items can include fine artworks from local artists, certificates for a service, collectibles, sports tickets, memorabilia, golf equipment, electronics, vendor products, hotel nights, concert tickets, sweatshirts, wine, golf balls, vendor logo items, lottery tickets, gift cards, meals at local restaurants, beer/wine tastings, certificates for classes, or anything you can think of!
Share Your 2023 Community Awards Nominations
Show your thanks and gratitude for those in and around Dane County for their hard work and efforts to improve the lives of those with IDD and their families and friends by nominating them for a 2023 Arc-Dane County Community Award.

Join us as we celebrate area individuals, groups, and organizations on May 31st at Quivey's Grove.
Link to the 2023 Spring Dance photos here .
Interactive Rider training with Madison Metro
The Southern Regional Center would like you join us in inviting people of all ages to a special Interactive Rider training from Madison Metro. There will be Spanish interpretation and ASL interpretation available. 
March 9, 8:30-10:30am at UW South Madison Partnership at 2238 Park Street. Yes there will be a bus!
In light of the upcoming Updates to All Routes in June, we wanted to offer this training specifically for people with disabilities. 
Who's ready to go
Fishing with Bob?

Our first Dane County date is Thursday May 18th from 5:30-7:30 pm. Join us at the Jenni & Kyle Preserve for a fun night of fishing and friends.
Help Turn Out the Disability Vote for the April 4th Spring Election

April 4th is a very important election in Wisconsin. Let’s work together to ensure that people with disabilities are registered to vote and cast a ballot! The Disability Vote Coalition is available to provide voters with disabilities and community agencies with the information needed so more people with disabilities can participate in our democracy.
  • Do you have a voting question? Contact the DRW Voter Hotline at 844-347-8683.
  • Would you like to order voting materials or schedule a training? Call the Hotline or email us at
  • Need information about voter registration, photo ID, or ballot return assistance? Our Voter Toolkit for the 2023 Elections has what you need: Voter Toolkit – 2023 Elections.
Spring Election Lunch and Learn on March 20th
Plan to attend our March 20th Spring Election Lunch and Learn on Zoom from Noon-1PM to be sure you are prepared to vote in the Spring election. The April 4th election is very important! Voters will decide on a new justice who will serve on the State Supreme Court for ten years, and also vote on a constitutional amendment and advisory referendum. Many voters will also vote on important local races.

Join us on March 20th to learn more about what’s on the ballot and why this election is so important. We will also discuss key deadlines, absentee voting, voting in person, and key rights and accommodations.

What’s on the Ballot?
In the Spring Election, you will be asked to vote on two amendments to the Wisconsin Constitution regarding setting bail for some people accused of crimes, and an Advisory Referendum about work requirements for people who receive welfare benefits.

Many voters will not be familiar with these proposals. We encourage voters to study these proposals in advance. Changing our State Constitution is a big deal and should be approached with great care and deliberation. Remember: there is no requirement to vote for something you are not sure about.

A good place to learn more about these proposals is the Ballotpedia website. Enter your voting address to view information about these proposals.

"That reimagining of what it means to be disabled did gain traction over the years — the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act just three years later in 1990 was a milestone — thanks to leaders like Heumann, who died suddenly on Saturday at age 75 at a hospital in Washington, D.C. She'd been hospitalized the previous weekend with breathing problems."

"The disability civil rights revolution, which Heumann had helped launch in America, was now becoming a democracy export. Between 2000 and 2015, 181 countries passed disability civil rights modeled after the ADA (although many were laws with little power or follow up). In her hulking power wheelchair, Heumann traveled to more than 30 countries to spread the gospel of disability rights."

Read the full article here.
Updates from The Arc
Happy Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month From The Arc!
Each March, we have a special chance to celebrate and uplift people with disabilities across our community and highlight their diverse experiences. Our new stories webpage showcases a range of compelling stories to spread awareness of our shared humanity, the many ways people with developmental disabilities enrich our communities, and the challenges we still face to realizing a truly inclusive society. Visit it and share it with a friend today!

The Arc Participates in Roundtable at the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Last week, The Arc participated in the Section 811 Stakeholder Roundtable hosted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Section 811 is the only federal supply program creating affordable, accessible, and integrated housing for extremely low-income people with disabilities.

As a co-chair of the Housing Taskforce of the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD), The Arc joined with state housing finance and state services agencies, other nonprofit organizations, and key federal agency partners to discuss improvements to the program.

One of The Arc’s policy priorities is increasing funding for and strengthening the implementation of Section 811. You can learn more about Section 811 here.

Bill Introduced to Phase Out Sub-minimum Wage for Workers With Disabilities
On February 27, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (S.533/ H.R.1263) to phase out sub-minimum wages and increase competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities.

The legislation would provide funding to states and to existing sub-minimum wage providers to transition programs to new models. It would also phase out the federal authority for sub-minimum wage.
Updates from Disability Policy News

Budget and Appropriations
The President is expected to release the budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 on March 9th. The budget serves as the President’s blueprint for Congress on how to fund the federal government for FY 2024.

Congress has begun its process to decide how to fund the federal government for FY 2024. The House Labor, Health Human, Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL-4), with Ranking Member Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) (see A full list of members on the House Appropriations Committee) has announced  that it will hold a public witness hearing on March 23rd. The deadline to submit written testimony is March 23rdSee the guidelines on the website. The deadline for Representatives to submit requests for funding to the Committee is March 24th at 6:00 pm ET.
The Chair of the Senate Labor, Health, Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee is Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and the Ranking Member is Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). (See a full list of members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and subcommittees.) The deadline for Senators to submit requests for funding to the Committee is April 13th.

Plain Language
The appropriations committees are in charge of deciding how much money different federal programs get, like the AUCD programs. Representatives and the Senators on the committee are beginning to decide how to fund federal programs in 2024. See the Senators on the appropriations committee. See the Representatives on the appropriations committee.

Action Steps
Call your Members of Congress and educate them on the importance of funding AUCD’s programs and other programs for people with disabilities next year. You can reach your Members of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Senator Casey Introduces the Better Care Better Jobs Act
On January 26th, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.100). The bill is originally cosponsored by 39 Democratic Senators. The bill will increase Medicaid funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) with a 10 percent increase in the federal match, increased funding for administrative activities, provide more benefits for direct care workers, improve oversight, make spousal impoverishment protections permanent, and will make the Money Follows the Person program permanent. The bill will improve HCBS for millions of people with disabilities, their families, and direct support professionals. The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Plain Language
Senator Casey (D-PA) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act in the Senate. This bill makes changes to and gives states more money so they can improve HCBS. The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.

Action Steps
Read the bill. Read a summary of the bill. Call your Members of Congress and educate them on the importance of home and community-based services for people with disabilities. You can reach your Members of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Participate in wellness in 2023--improve your social health and your physical health with our new projects!
Join The Arc-Dane County at OutWiGo Green!

Join Wisconsin State Parks and friends at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit on Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for OutWiGo Green, a day of hands-on learning, adventuring and celebrating in the great outdoors. Engage in new-to-you recreation and explore conservation in the outdoors – “green” in all senses!

This event is for all ages, all abilities and with no experience necessary. Other activities include camping, fishing, guided and self-guided hikes, nature crafts, orienteering, paddling, trail running and much more.

Follow along at as event details are finalized.

We will be there featuring our Fishing with Bob events! Come by, say hi, and try out casting with our fishing poles.
The Just Ask Project invites self-advocates and community members to read and talk to each other. Be a model of connection and conversation for others in our area.

Members of our community and self-advocates are encouraged to reach out, join up, and be an example for others.

To learn more about The Just Ask Project, contact Anne at
or 608-833-1199
Be a part of the Middleton Tri4Schools Triathlon in whatever way works best for you!
We will be there to help plan your race, implement the accommodations you need, & support you and cheer you on during this fun day!

To learn more about The Adaptive Triathlon, contact Kim at
or 920-397-0386
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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Interested in sharing your ideas and talents? Contact us for more information how to become involved with The Arc-Dane County