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Speaking with legislators and candidates of those up for election is important because it humanizes an issue. Each of the topics below provides talking points and questions related to the Council’s five legislative priorities. These questions can be asked during political debates and other election-related events. It would be helpful to provide an example from your own lived experience right before asking the question.

 

Transportation: Lack of adequate transportation options is consistently one of the top policy concerns of older adults and people with disabilities. Funding for transit services has fallen below the 2011 level, which has led to transit service reductions and fare increases for many communities. How do you plan to strengthen transit and transportation services to ensure that people with disabilities across the state can get to where they need to go?

 

Education: State funding for special education has been flat for the past 10 years, creating unmet needs for students with disabilities. What steps will you take to ensure that education services for students with disabilities are appropriately funded?

 

Healthcare: The Office for the Blind and Visually Impaired (OBVI), located within the Department of Health Services, provides critical services that allow individuals who are blind or visually impaired to remain living independently in their own homes, thus avoiding more expensive nursing home placements. The Office’s funding has unfortunately been reduced over the years while the number of people with visual impairments has increased. Would you support increased funding for this office to ensure that people who are blind or visually impaired have access to services that help them stay independent?

 

Employment: The Wisconsin State Legislature has taken considerable steps to prioritize and strengthen employment services for people with disabilities over the past few years.  People who are blind or visually impaired have unique needs and barriers related to obtaining employment (such as the need for assistive technology) that have not been explicitly addressed by these proposals.  What steps will you take to make sure that people who are blind or visually impaired can get jobs in the community?

 

Civil Rights/ADA: How will you prevent discrimination and promote full community inclusion of people with disabilities?