photo of girl and motherThe Arc Wisconsin is Helping People Plan for the Future!

What is Future Planning?
Each of us has our own hopes, dreams,and preferences. The same is true of the 600,000-700,000 people with
intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the U.S. (more than 75,000 in Wisconsin) who live with aging caregivers with no plan in place for their future. Many times, these aging caregivers are providing support to their son or daughter with I/DD and do not know where or how to start a plan for the future. It’s a journey with no road map.

The Arc Wisconsin is working to provide future planning support to caregivers of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families, which may include an older adult. Future planning is creating a guide for a person with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) to lead a good life as independently as possible. A plan is important throughout all stages of life and especially in the future after the parent or caregiver is no longer able to provide support.

As you may know, a person-centered future plan should reflect the wishes of the person with I/DD, as well as his or her parents, siblings, extended family members and friends, and other important people in his or her life. The plan you build should include information about all aspects of a person’s life including daily routines, living arrangements, finances, medical and education history, and decision-making support.

If You are a Family Member
If you or your loved one have an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) and are interested in starting a Future Plan, walk through The Arc’s Build Your Plan tool and get started! Also – contact The Arc Wisconsin directly to get in touch with one of our trained future planners:

Families in Wisconsin tell their Future Planning Story

If You are a Professional Who Supports Families
Make sure to refer families to The Arc Wisconsin to get in touch with one of our highly trained Future Planners. Future Planning can be included in an indvidual’s IRIS or Family Care service plan. Contact The Arc Wisconsin at

Resources to Get Started with Future Planning

Arc Wisconsin Future Planning Brochure
The Arc Wisconsin Future Planning Flyer
The Arc Build Your Plan Tool
Letter of Intent – English
Letter of Intent – Spanish

Resources and Handouts:

Wisconsin Future Planning Resource List
Tips on Finding a Lawyer – English
Tips on Finding a Lawyer – Spanish
Tips for Siblings – English
Tips for Siblings – Spanish
5 Factors of Special Needs Financial Planning handout

Resources for Self-Advocates (Plain Language):

Self-Advocates and Families Talking about Future Planning (Videos):

Resources on Supported Decision-Making

Information on ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts

Presentation on Special Needs Financial Planning