Welcome to TMG’s Partner Links and Resources page. Click on the links below to find great organizations and tools to help you in your self-direction journey.
Partner Links & Resources
Explore the partner links below to find organizations and resources related to the following categories:
AARP Wisconsin is a national organization for people aged 50 years and older, which provides advocacy, resources and discounts on eye glasses, hearing aids, restaurants, travel and other entertainment.
Your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) can give you information about aging or living with a disability, including available resources for in-home care, home modifications, meal delivery programs, transportation options and more.
Alzheimer’s Association provides resources, support and education for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and for their loved ones.
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) helps people who are aging and their loved ones learn how to advocate for themselves, understand elder law, find assistance in their communities and more.
Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care is a state advocacy board that provides a voice for older citizens and those in need of long-term care. The site offers helpful publications as well.
Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA): This organization offers evidence-based prevention programs for people who are aging and their caregivers so that they can live healthy and full lives, including the Stepping On program, which teaches people how to prevent falls.
Respite Care Association of Wisconsin supports and advocates for quality systems of respite care for Wisconsin families. Their mission is to promote, support and expand quality statewide respite care across the lifespan. TMG was proud partner with RCAW to create the Help and Be Helped Communications tool. This tool is filled with great resources, including a Respite Care Association of Wisconsin In-home Supports Connection Registry. Read Help and Be Helped here.
Wisconsin’s Family Caregiver Support Programs are located in every county and tribe in the state to provide information and assistance to help people better care for their loved ones and themselves. Whether arranging for services (respite care, transportation, etc.) or helping families understand their options for care, Family Caregiver Support Programs give caregivers access to the information and services that can help them in their role as caregivers. Free online educational resources for family caregivers through a partnership with Trualta can be found here.
Employment & Transition
APSE is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to Employment First, a vision that all people with disabilities have a right to competitive employment in an inclusive workforce.
ABILITYJobs is a job board is specifically for people who have a disability, and allows employers from across the United States to share information about a wide variety of jobs.
A County Community on Transition (CCOT) is a regional community that comes together regularly to identify issues, barriers, supports and solutions to assisting students with disabilities make a successful transition based on student post-secondary goals related to training or education, employment and independent living.
Before Age 18 is a great site for young adults preparing to transition to life after school. If you are a teen with a disability or someone close to a teen with a disability, this site can help you explore and prepare for the future. Turning 18 is a big deal and taking some actions now will help you get ready.
The Employment Network provides learning opportunities for people with disabilities to earn livable wages, pursue meaningful careers, and have real choices about integrated employment in their communities.
Family Voices of Wisconsin has released a 30-minute video, What’s After High School? This is a short, comprehensive overview about almost everything you need to know about the transition to adult life for youth with disabilities. Be sure to check it out! (Presentation available in English and Spanish)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
The National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) policy development center. The LEAD Center delivers policy research and recommendations, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to promote inclusion and equity, and facilitate the adoption and integration of inclusive WIOA programs, policies, and practices.
Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) website provides information related to employment supports and Wisconsin’s workforce.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a part of DWD, and provides job seekers with disabilities information related to employment supports and Wisconsin’s workforce. Be sure to check out the Getting Started with DVR flowchart and video to learn more!
The Wisconsin Transition Initiative’s mission is to provide professional development to educators, youth, families and transition partners to ensure every child graduates, and is college and career ready!
ThinkWork! is the hub for an array of programs related to employment for people with IDD at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts are saving accounts that have tax advantages for individuals with disabilities and their families and allow individuals to continue to be eligible for Medicaid. ABLE accounts fund expenses to support a person’s health, independence and quality of life.
Take a look at these resources to learn more about ABLE accounts and how they might benefit you:
- The ABLE National Resource Center is the leading source of objective and comprehensive information related to ABLE savings accounts and ABLE programs and activities. Be sure to check out the 10 Things You Should Know About Able Accounts.
- The Wisconsin Department of Revenue provides important information about how individuals living in Wisconsin (which does not have a state-sponsored ABLE program) can open an ABLE account in states that allow out-of-state residents to take part in their state-sponsored ABLE program.
- Family Voice of Wisconsin has information on ABLE Accounts: What Wisconsin Families Need to Know. Be sure to check it out!
- The Arc Wisconsin provides information about ways we can expand access to ABLE accounts in Wisconsin.
The Arc of the United States created a series of five videos on financial planning for people with disabilities.
- An Overview of ABLE Accounts (5 minutes)
- An Overview of Special Needs Trusts (6 minutes)
- Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts: How Are They Different? (6 minutes)
- Pooled Special Needs Trusts (6 minutes)
- How Death Affects the Money left in ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts (5 minutes)
Here is a link to the complete series.
Bank on Greater Milwaukee publishes its annual Money Smart Resource Guide for Milwaukee-area residents and service providers. This guide is available in English and Spanish and provides tips and resources to help people learn about money, saving, and finances in order to improve their financial well-being.
The National Disability Institute has created a resource page full of free financial wellness tools that can be used to help individuals, families, financial institutions and community partners improve the financial future of people with disabilities. There you’ll find financial education handouts, including Choosing a Bank, My Spending Diary, Goal Setting Worksheets, Disability Benefits Counseling and more. Be sure to check it out and find out how you can increase your financial wellness!
Wispact Inc. is a private nonprofit organization that administers pooled and community Special Needs Trusts for people with disabilities. Based in Madison, Wispact manages the Special Needs Trusts for more than 3,000 people throughout the state of Wisconsin.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin chapter connects you to local and statewide resources.
The Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives.
NAMI Wisconsin’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people affected by mental illness and to promote recovery.
The Waisman Center is dedicated to advancing knowledge about human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA) was formed to advance the spread of evidence-based prevention programs that encourage and support healthy living among older people through partnerships with public and private organizations.
Movin’ Out is devoted to helping people with disabilities find safe and affordable housing.
ABCD Institute is an online community where people can learn and share the principles and practices of Asset-Based Community Development.
The Arc-Wisconsin Disability Association website provides recent articles and information about issues impacting Wisconsin.
Applied Self-Direction provides practical expertise to help create and operate self-direction programs for individuals, states, Financial Management Services (FMS) providers, and other stakeholders.
Also be sure to read What Would a Great Self-Direction Program Look Like? – a short paper by Lynn Breedlove, former Director of Disability Rights Wisconsin and nationally recognized disability advocate. l
ASAN works to empower people with autism across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of their common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure their voices are heard in the national conversation about them. “Nothing About Us, Without Us!”
The Wisconsin Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Network is for people with complex communication needs, their families, and professionals. The WI AAC Network’s goal is to bring Wisconsin stakeholders together and to give everyone a voice by increasing awareness, providing information, and supporting AAC communicators and their families throughout their communication journey.
The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin provides a community for individuals with autism, their families, and professionals who serve them. Their goal is to increase the quality of life for those with autism and respond to the emerging needs of the autism community.
The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) is an organization established to advocate on behalf of people with developmental disabilities.
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is a private nonprofit organization that works to ensure the rights of all state citizens with disabilities through individual advocacy and system change.
lThe Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW) provides support to Wisconsin families and individuals with Down syndrome through awareness, education, information, programs, services, and the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Family Voices of Wisconsin is a statewide network of families who have children with special health care needs and disabilities and those who work on their behalf. TMG was proud to be a sponsor of two Family Voices publications.
The first publication is the Family Voices’ Self-Determination and Children with Disabilities fact sheet. This fact sheet outlines how families can support self-determination for children, and provides resources to help families on this journey. Read the fact sheet here.
The second publication is the Family Voices’ Working with an IRIS Consultant fact sheet. This fact sheet will help you understand what role your IC will play and how you can work together. Read the fact sheet here.
The Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR), Inc., is a nonprofit agency committed to supporting the successful delivery of aging programs and services in 70 counties and 11 tribes in Wisconsin.
In Control Wisconsin works to develop, evaluate, motivate and support new forms of practice and cultural change for self-directed support.
Living Our Visions (LOV) is a member-led organization working to unite people with developmental disabilities to engage and build their best lives.
People First Wisconsin is a statewide self-advocacy organization for people with disabilities. By joining together in groups, individuals with disabilities learn to speak up for themselves, share ideas, friendships and information.
SARTAC is the first-ever national self-advocacy resource and technical assistance center. If you’re interested in organizing and supporting your self-advocacy group, this is your one-stop resource site. There you’ll find information on a wide variety of topics, including advocacy tips, how to build a board for your organization, how to get people involved, fundraising and event planning help, and more.
Save IRIS was started by a group of passionate IRIS participants and their allies, and is committed to preserving and promoting self-direction.
The Self-Determination Channel is where you can discover awesome videos about using choice and control in your life. The Self-Determination Channel is hosted by self-advocates and the content is decided by self-advocates.
The Wisconsin Self-Determination Network promotes self-determination by working together to understand, implement and create rewarding lives for older adults and people with disabilities.
United Cerebral Palsy educates, advocates, and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with various disabilities.
The Path Ahead
TMG’s quarterly newsletter, The Path Ahead shares great stories about people enrolled in the TMG IRIS Consultant Agency and excellent resources to help you lead a self-directed life.
Check out these resource articles that were posted in The Path Ahead:
- Advocacy Resources: Check out these fantastic organizations that can connect you with other self-advocates and provide you with great resources.
- Circle of Support Resources: Learn about Micah Fialka-Feldman – self-advocate, national speaker, and disability rights pioneer – and how he usese his circle of support to live a full life. Also check out resources on how to build your own circle of support.
- Employment Resources: TMG has gathered many resources, training programs, and tips to help you be your best in the workplace.
- Online Health & Wellness Resources: These resources can help you take charge of your health and well-being.
- Resources for Aging Well: Want to make your golden years great? Check out these resources for aging well.
- Resources for Staying Active: Let’s get moving! TMG has gathered some great resources to help you stay active and healthy.
- Tips for Taking an Accessible Vacation: If you or a fellow traveler have a physical disability or mobility issues, then be sure to check out these links to help make your next vacation as exciting and stress-free as possible!
- TMG Art Resource Page: Check out these art therapy and art resources throughout Wisconsin that can help people who enjoy making art.
- Transportation Resources: Whether you’re looking for transportation options, need helpful tools or want to connect with advocacy groups to learn more about this issue, here are a few resources to make your journey a little smoother.
- Wisconsin Housing Resources: Do you have questions about housing? Then check out our list to help you with your housing needs!
Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC): Your local ADRC is a great first stop to find out about all of the available transportation options and advocacy efforts happening near you.
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW): This statewide advocacy organization provides information, referral, advice, investigation and, in select cases, legal representation to help people with disabilities have equal opportunity to transportation.
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR): Learn how to navigate the unique transportation challenges that people who are aging might run into. GWAAR offers a training toolkit for people who rely on paid and volunteer drivers, as well as other helpful transportation resources.
Veyo, Wisconsin’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) manager, arranges transportation for eligible Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members throughout the state to their covered preventative and life-sustaining medical appointments. You can also learn about the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ NEMT program here.
People First Wisconsin: This is a statewide organization that helps people learn how to advocate for themselves on important issues such as transportation. Be sure to read People First’s position paper on transportation on their website.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP): This national volunteer program, with local project sites throughout the state, is for people 55 and older who are looking to give back to their communities. One of their many volunteer efforts is providing free rides. Look for an RSVP site near you if you need a ride, or if you’d like to give rides to others.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is committed to protecting and promoting the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin, making sure everyone can live their best life.
Below are several programs and resources housed under DHS:
- The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) provides information on a broad range of programs and services, helps people understand the various long-term care options available to them, helps people apply for programs and benefits, and serves as the access point for publicly funded long-term care. Find your local ADRC here.
- ForwardHealth brings together many DHS health care and nutritional assistance benefit programs with the goal of improving health outcomes for members and creating efficiencies for providers.
- Independent Living Centers provide assistance to people with all kinds of disabilities. These agencies were created to promote independence and self-determination for individuals, as well as to offer support and information to families and communities.
- IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) is a self-directed program for Wisconsin’s aging population and adults with disabilities. IRIS is built on the principles of self-determination and self-direction. That means that you will have the freedom to decide how you want to live your life.
- The IRIS Advisory Committee is a group established to provide recommendations to DHS program staff on programmatic issues related to administration of the IRIS program. Committee members are individuals who have relevant knowledge, experience, expertise, and community relationships that allow them to present ideas, opinions, or facts for the betterment of the IRIS program.
- Wisconsin’s Medicaid web page gives information about ForwardHealth and many other commonly used Medicaid terms.
- The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides education, counseling, and enrollment assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. Here you can find contact information for Elderly Benefit Specialists, Disability Benefit Specialists, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Benefit Specialists, Wisconsin Medigap Helpline, Wisconsin Medigap Prescription Drug Helpline, Disability Drug Benefit Helpline, Wisconsin Judicare, and GWAAR Medicare Trainer and Counselor.
- The Long-Term Care Advisory Council (LTCAC) advises DHS about issues regarding long-term care services. Here you can find the Council’s meeting agendas and minutes, information about board members and more.