The Arc Wisconsin logoFor Immediate Release: March 21, 2018
Contact: Lisa Pugh, State Director (608) 422-4250
The Arc Wisconsin Celebrates Victories in the State Senate for People with Disabilities
Madison, WI – Disability advocates statewide are celebrating unanimous votes by the State Senate last night to approve three bills that will make a huge difference in the lives of many Wisconsinites with disabilities.
“We are eager for these bills to move onto the Governor’s desk to become law!”, says Lisa Pugh, Executive Director of The Arc Wisconsin. “The Employment First bill is something Wisconsin disability advocates have been requesting for at least five years. Its passage means more people with disabilities can now get into the workforce.”
On Tuesday the Senate voted to approve three bills already passed by the Assembly:
The Employment First Bill (AB 625) – requires state agencies to review policies, collaborate and set joint benchmarks and goals to ensure more people with disabilities are employed in Competitive Integrated Employment (employment in the community at typical wages).
The Supported Decision-Making bill (AB 655) –offers an alternative to guardianship and allows a person to retain their rights in major life decisions while designating a supporter who can now have a formal role to provide help.
The Partners with Business Bill (AB 819) – aprovides a small amount of funding to expand the highly successful Partners with Business model of employer job coaching for people with disabilities statewide. Private businesses, schools and employment service providers will be eligible for grants to learn how to hire and support employees with disabilities using Partners with Business.
“Each bill promotes the independence of people with disabilities in different ways. The Arc Wisconsin is grateful for bi-partisan support for these bills.”
Find out more about each proposal here:
• Employment First Summary

• Partners with Business Summary
• Supported Decision Making Summary
The Arc Wisconsin advocates for and serves people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc Wisconsin has 15 local chapters and is connected to a network of more than 650 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.