The Messenger
A Newsletter From The Arc Dane County
Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 65 years

February 14, 2018
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do,
but how much love we put in that action.
~Mother Teresa 

What's Happening at The Arc Dane County
  • Attend the meeting if you can and speak against the cuts!
  • Tell your story about how important paratransit is to you and/or your family; mention how you use it (to get to jobs, community activities, etc.).
  • Urge them not to eliminate paper tickets and leave-attended service ...both are essential to safety.
We knew changes were coming to paratransit services.  But, that does not make the changes easier.  Especially given these changes impact the quality of life for our loved ones with intellectual and development disabilities. 

As discussed in a public hearing in October, Metro is expecting the loss of $3.9 million in federal funding normally passed through by Dane County to help fund paratransit services. With this funding no longer directly available, staff have proposed several changes to existing service.  After reviewing customer feedback, some of these changes are being considered for 2018 while others are now proposed to go into effect next year.

Proposed Implementation - 2019
  • Fare increase to $4.00
  • Service becomes primarily "curb-to-curb" rather than "door-to-door."
Your voice is important!  If you are not able to attend tonight's meeting, please make sure you share your feedback.   Please Email Madison Transit and Parking Commission (TPC) and All Madison Alders About ParaTransit and How Important it is to You and/or Your Family
  1. Tell them how important paratransit is to you and/or your family; mention how you use it (to get to jobs, community activities, etc.).
  2. Urge them not to eliminate paper tickets and leave-attended service ...both are essential to safety.
  3. Urge them to delay any changes until 2019.
NEW PROGRAM: Exploring Transportation Provider Options in Dane County
Tuesday, March 6, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
122 E. Olin Avenue, Suite 100, Madison

Doug Hunt (Dane County Human Services staff) and Dawn Wians (parent leader), two experts on transportation options for people with disabilities in Dane County, will be the featured presenters at a learning event on transportation. The new "Quick Reference: Transportation Provider Options in Dane County for People with Developmental and other Disabilities" (options in addition to Madison Metro Paratransit) will be provided and explained to attendees.
There will also be:
  • a review of how the transition to Family Care and IRIS has changed the way transportation is coordinated and funded in Dane County
  • an update on Madison Metro changes in their enhanced services for people with disabilities
  • a walk-through of a new "Personal Transportation Worksheet" to organize your transportation planning
Registration is required and limited to 40. 

In This Issue
Upcoming  Events
The Arc National Events
2018 Awards Banquet Nominations Are Open!
Nominate Someone Making a Difference - Deadline is March 2, 2018
The upcoming 68th Annual Meeting and Community Awards Banquet is coming up on April 26th, 2017 at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club.  This is an incredible opportunity to recognize those individuals and agencies who do great work and provide support to our communities with disabilities.

As our support network continues to find innovative and caring ways to support our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities, let's honor those who are making the biggest impact!
Categories include:
  • Adult Family Home Sponsor
  • Community Support
  • Corporate Support
  • Direct Care Giver
  • Educator
  • Elected Official
  • Employer
  • Landlord
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Media
  • Parent Advocate
  • Self-Advocate
  • Volunteer
The nomination process is an EASY ONE PAGE FORM - CLICK HERE.  Please help us recognize these wonderful people and organizations.
Family Care/IRIS Transition - Highlighting Resources

Did you know, The Arc Dane County has quite a few resources on our website to support you in the Family Care/IRIS transition.  There are a number of worksheets to help you put in writing the services you need to support your loved ones quality of life.  One of these worksheets, Planning Your Transportation in a New Long-Term Care Program, is especially important given the changes that are coming to paratransit services. Click here for the worksheet.

The Grandparent Network at the Waisman Center
The Grandparents' Network provides a context for grandparents and other family members to increase their understanding of developmental disabilities, learn how other families cope with the challenge of disability, and contribute expertise, wisdom, and experience.

The Grandparent Coffee Group is a wonderful opportunity for coffee and conversations on the first Friday of each month! The grandparent coffee group meets at 9:30 a.m. at the Waisman Center to share advice and discuss concerns as well as learn about resources that can help create positive environments within families and communities.

Disability Advocacy Day is March 20th
Make certain your voice is heard! Disability Advocacy Day is designed to connect you with your legislators so you can talk about issues that matter to you. You are the expert in sharing how legislative policies affect people with disabilities in their everyday lives.
Registration is due by March 9, 2018 - 5:00 pm CST

Volunteers are still needed to help make this day a success.
Please email Fil Clissa at for questions.
Spring Ball Tickets are Now Available!
Get your dancing shoes ready for this year's Spring Ball.  We will be dancing the afternoon away:
Sunday April 15th
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club 

We hope you can join us for a fun afternoon of dancing, friends and celebrating the spring season. 

Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis.  Don't wait to get yours, they sell out fast!  Ticket Request Forms are due on or before April 3rd.  Please remember to submit your emergency contact information along with your request for tickets.

We are looking for volunteers to help at this year's event.  If you are interested in a fun afternoon of volunteering, please email Anne at
Future Planning - The Arc Dane County Can Help
Do you have concerns and questions about caring for an individual with an intellectual and developmental disability?  Are you an aging caregiver or do you know one?  Do you have a plan in place for continued care?

The Arc's Center for Future Planning and The Arc Dane County are here to help with a new program that addresses Future Planning. Contact The Arc Dane County for information or to set up a meeting with our trained staff. or 608-833-1199

Family Support - President Trump Signs RAISE Family Caregivers Act

Governor Walker and members of the WI legislature have introduced ten bills that will change requirements for people using FoodShare, public housing, Medicaid, and other benefits.  Call your State Senator to share how people with disabilities will be affected by these bills.
Things to talk about:
  • These bills are moving fast.  We should slow down the process to include input from people with disabilities.
  • The bills use different language and definitions to exempt some people with disabilities but not others.  People with disabilities may use several different programs and having different definitions will be confusing for people with disabilities and people who work in these programs. 
  • These bills also should not apply to people who are caregivers for people with disabilities.
  • These bills will cost millions to run.  This money could be used for other programs to help people get to work.
Are You a Member Yet?
Your membership in The Arc Dane County helps us continue to offer up to date advocacy, education, and social activities.

The Arc Dane County | (608) 833-1199
6602 Grand Teton Plaza | Madison, WI 53719