For Immediate Release                                                         Contact: Lisa Pugh, State Director (608) 422-4250

January 22, 2019

Madison, WI – The Arc Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s 14 local chapters of The Arc were pleased tonight to hear Governor Evers address many issues important to people with disabilities.

“Parents of children with disabilities will be relieved to hear there is a promise of a significant investment in special education services this year,” says Lisa Pugh, State Director of The Arc Wisconsin. A recent survey of families indicated more than half were concerned about their child’s future due to lack of funding in their school.

“Additional funding means students with disabilities will have the supports they need to get a quality education to prepare them to be college and workforce ready.”

Unfortunately, Governor Evers did not mention the direct care workforce crisis that is impacting thousands of people with disabilities and their families. In a recent survey of family caregivers conducted by The Arc, 95% of caregivers said they were stressed and that caregiving has impacted their job.

“Nearly all the Wisconsin families who responded to this survey indicated they had difficulty finding both direct care workers and respite care,” said Pugh. “We need attention to this crisis now.”

The Arc Wisconsin was pleased to hear Governor Evers emphasize increased funding for mental health supports in schools, a commitment to expand Medicaid and protect those with pre-existing conditions and a renewed and broadened look at the statewide transportation crisis.

“One of the biggest concerns we hear from people with disabilities is how they are trapped in their homes and communities just because they can’t drive, and they have no transportation options,” says Pugh. “Transportation for people with disabilities, especially in rural Wisconsin, is about more than just highways.”

Pugh says The Arc Wisconsin will also continue to work with both the Governor’s office and the Legislature to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in 2019.

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 14 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.

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.