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.
WOW, what a last week.
It started midweek with the start of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) meetings. On the first day, we heard from 3 members of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau on the Maintenance of Effort in regards to the Medicaid Waiver request made by DHS. The day ended with a discussion on supported living and the closing of Northern Wisconsin Center, a state institution.
The next day was my first full day of participation in my new career as an IRIS Consultant Mentor. We spent the morning talking about ways to better enhance the lives of people with disabilities and the frail elder to continue living in a setting of their choosing.
After the morning meetings, I ran across the Capitol Square to attend the BPDD business meeting. Once I finished with the BPDD meeting, I ran back across the Square to continue discussions on IRIS issues. These meetings continued into Friday.
The weekend was filled with Christmas preparations. Namely baking and setting up our Christmas tree, which includes the family outing to pick it out.
This week started out on very exciting news. I was selected to participate in Partners in Policymaking program. Wisconsin Partners in Policymaking is a six-session, advocacy and systems change training program designed to develop a group of seasoned leaders across the state who are able to work on policies and initiatives that will support the full participation and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life.
The whirlwind week culminated with my son Tyler being selected as Self Advocate of the Year by People First Milwaukee. Tyler was recognized for his continued efforts in speaking up for himself. From helping put together power point presentations to show his legislators at Disability Advocacy Day, to helping put together a power point presentation for his initial Middle School IEP, to attending hearings hosted by Joint Finance and the Department of Health Services. While Tyler may be non-verbal, he made his voice heard.