March 2020 Wisconsin Newsletter
We're in This Together
Dear chapters and allies of The Arc Wisconsin,
These are challenging times. As I write this, my husband and I juggle working from home and supporting our adult daughter with I/DD whose school and day services supports are suspended. We wonder how long this crisis will last. Of course, there are others who are in more dire situations and people who are extremely isolated, as well as caregivers who are extraordinarily stressed.

But we are in this together. The Arc of the United States and The Arc Wisconsin are advocating for the resources you need. We are here with you.

Please send The Arc Wisconsin your suggestions and ideas. What do you need or what is most challenging for your now? Do you have an inspiring story to share? What are your thoughts on ways people can stay active or deal with isolation? Send them to [email protected] .

We also ask you to please take 5 minutes to complete a survey by the Survival Coalition to help us identify your needs during this time.

Stay in good health,

Lisa Pugh
State Director
The Arc Wisconsin
Guidance on COVID-19 to Help You Get Answers and Talk to Others 
Wisconsin continues to develop and add guidance for many issues on the Department of Health Services COVID-19 website .

Want to help people with disabilities understand COVID-19?

A Story to Keep You Motivated 
See this story from our friends at The Arc Fond du Lac:
"One of our resident managers, who runs a four-person adult family home, has been amazing through the entire ramp up of our response to the coronavirus. Katie has proactively met the transition needs of her residents because she knows them so well! She sourced multiple social stories to explain coronavirus to her residents – seeking out specific stories that would best resonate with her residents. Knowing additional staff were going to be coming into the house (to cover the daytime hours as day services have closed), she created individualized baskets for each resident. Each basket has a variety of activities, recreational experiences, readings, and more specifically selected for that resident that will ease the creation of a relationship with the new incoming staff. She has taken incredible steps to reduce disruption for the people with I/DD she supports, and she has done all this while also supporting her own children at home, including a son with I/DD." - Liz Morrell, Executive Director, The Arc Fond du Lac

What is your motivational story? Send it to us at [email protected] !
Important Advocacy to Get You the Supports You Need
The Arc Wisconsin has been working around the clock with other disability advocacy organizations to tell the Governor, state agencies, and the legislature to remove policy barriers and increase resources that help people with I/DD navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • Allow providers to reassign staff.
  • Change policies or training requirements to allow family members to get paid to provide care.
  • Waive prior authorization requirements.
  • Temporarily waive individual budget amendment requirements to ensure care is provided in the least restrictive community-based setting.

Read all the recommendations from the Survival Coalition here
What Can You Do? 
Make sure your policymaker knows how you are being impacted!

Share your story of concern about how COVID-19 has affected you, your supports, your business, or your family. Tell your policymaker which recommendation(s) in this letter would help you most.

Find your policymaker contact information here .

This is also an important time to reach out to your care manager or IRIS consultant to ask for what you need.

  • Do you need technology to connect with others? Or do you need help to set up technology?
  • Do you still need someone to come into your home to help you or to bring food?
  • Make sure you know who you would call if you or your main caregiver gets sick.
Get Your Future Plans on Paper 
Now is the perfect time to sit down with your family or someone you support and fill out that future plan. If your life must change dramatically for whatever reason, what are the key things you want people to know? The best future plans include those things that aren’t in a service plan, but that really are most important to you. The Arc is a leader in future planning.

Start your plan online with the Build Your Plan Tool or with our paper form letter of intent: