I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
Today, they are holding the Public Hearing on AB 477 (Lift the Caps Bill). Here is my written testimony
It is finally time to do the right thing and lift the caps on Family Care and the related Programs. Governor Walker has said that he wants the caps lifted. DHS has released its Long-Term Care Efficiencies and Sustainability Plan. There is Bi-Partisan support to lift the caps.
DHS rolled out an efficiencies and sustainability plan. One area that I think that DHS has great foresight is their youth in transition program. They see the benefits of early work experiences. DHS has worked closely with the Board on this project as part of the “Let’s Get to Work” youth grant. This is particularly important to me because I have a 14 year old son with a duel diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. My goal for my son is that he has the ability to achieve a successful outcome when it comes to employment opportunities in the future. I want him to be able to choose the career of his choosing, not something that others see as the best fit for him, such as a sheltered workshop.
Working in the Long Term Care field I have seen how this program works. I have seen how it has changed the lives for the better for hundreds of individuals. Without this program many individuals would be placed in a more costly nursing home setting
The supports that individuals receive are vital for allowing people to remain vibrant members of our communities. These supports are allowing individuals to remain living in the residence of their choosing, as opposed to a more costly institutionalized setting. These supports allow individuals to be contributing members of our economy both as a worker and as a consumer.
These supports range from personal cares to home health care to transportation to nutrition services. Imagine what it would be like if you had to wait for these types of services? In the cases that I encounter on a daily basis as a worker in the long term care field, individuals are only using the services that they need.
As a member of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities member, I work with individuals who participate in these programs. The people that I have come across in my 3 years on the Board are truly amazing. They have good paying jobs. They live on their own. They make informed decisions. They are a part of the process. Their motto is nothing about us without us.
I ask that you pass this as a clean bill, no amendments are necessary. The Unanimous Senate thought the bill was properly written, I ask the Assembly to do the same.
I ask that you remove the caps and give more people the opportunity to have a real quality of life based on relationships and experiences.