Welcome to Options for Independent Living

Options believes and practices the philosophy of an Independent Living Center being a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential nonprofit agency. Each is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.

WI Councils Looking for Members from NE WI

Are you interested in participating in advocacy opportunities? Several state councils need consumers to serve on their statewide committees or councils. See more information below.

Assistive Technology (AT) Advisory Council
The Assistive Technology (AT) Advisory Council is composed of no fewer than 9 and no more than 13 members.

At least fifty-one percent of the elected membership of the Council are people with disabilities, who use assistive technology. Other members of the Council are appointed as the AT Act prescribes a set of representatives from agencies and organizations. These are representatives from:

  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction,
  • Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,
  • Council on Workforce Investment,
  • An Independent Living Center, and
  • Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Office of Blind and Visually Impaired.

In addition, the AT Advisory Council may appoint additional representatives from other state agencies, public agencies, or private organizations, as long as the consumer majority is maintained. As the State AT Council recruits consumer members and makes additional appointments, care should be taken to maintain a council that reflects the diversity of the State “with respect to race, ethnicity, types of disabilities across the age span" as well as the types of AT devices and services used by its citizens with disabilities.

The purpose of the Advisory Council is to provide advice and guidance to the WisTech Program and assure that it is in compliance with the provisions of the Assistive Technology Act (Tech Act) of 1998, as amended.

Specifically, the Advisory Council will provide advice and guidance on the following:

  • Submission of Wisconsin's State Plan for Assistive Technology (AT) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL),
  • Monitoring the WisTech program according to the State Plan for AT,
  • Developing and maintaining collaborations with other agencies, organizations, and bodies providing AT services and devices throughout the State, and
  • Monitoring of program data and outcomes.

To learn more about the AT Advisory Council, please visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disabilities/wistech/advisoryboard.htm.

If you would like to apply to become a member, please download the membership application from the Council's website listed above, and submit your completed application to Mason Aumanstal at MasonE.Aumanstal@dhs.wisconsin.gov or mail it to: AT Advisory Council Staff, 1 West Wilson St., Room 551, PO Box 2659, Madison, WI 53701-2659

If you have any questions, please contact Mason Aumanstal at 608-266-3118 or MasonE.Aumanstal@dhs.wisconsin.gov

Governor's Committee for People with Disabilities (Governor Appointed)

In 1948, a Governor's Committee was established with one goal: to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The group's mission was broadened in 1976 to cover many aspects of disability in Wisconsin and became the Governor's Committee for People with Disabilities (GCPD).

Unlike other disability councils in state government, the focus of the Governor's Committee includes all disabilities and six of its members represent specific disability constituencies:

  • Alcohol and other drug abuse,
  • Blindness and visual impairment,
  • Deaf and hard of hearing,
  • Developmental disabilities,
  • Mental health, and
  • Physical disabilities.

The Governor's Committee is charged with the following duties:

  • Advise the Governor and state agencies on problems faced by people with disabilities.
  • Review legislation affecting people with disabilities.
  • Promote effective operation of publicly-administered or supported programs serving people with disabilities.
  • Promote the collection, dissemination and incorporation of adequate information about people with disabilities for purposes of public planning at all levels of government.
  • Promote public awareness of the needs and abilities of people with disabilities
  • Encourage the effective involvement of people with disabilities in government.

To learn more about the GCPD, visit: https://gcpd.wisconsin.gov/index.htm. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more, please contact Lisa Sobczyk with Department of Health Services at lisa.sobczyk@wisconsin.gov or 608-266-9354.

Statutory Council on Blindness (Appointed by DHS Secretary)

The Statutory Council on Blindness (SCOB) is a nine-member advisory council whose purpose is to make recommendations to the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and other state agencies on services, activities, programs, investigations, and research that affect Wisconsin's blind and visually impaired population.

The Council encourages individuals who are passionate about bettering the lives of persons who are blind and visually impaired to submit an application for appointment. Council members are appointed by the Secretary of DHS for staggered three-year terms. Per state statute, at least seven of the nine appointed members must be blind or visually impaired; however, sighted individuals who have an interest in and demonstrated knowledge of the issues affecting the blind and visually impaired community are also encouraged to apply.

The SCOB meets quarterly to discuss issues and conduct Council business. Members of the public are welcome to attend to listen in and provide comments as well. Agendas and public meeting notices are posted on the SCOB's website.

For more information about the Statutory Council on Blindness and to learn how to become a member, visit https://scob.wisconsin.gov or contact Amber Mullett via email at Amber.Mullett@wisconsin.gov or by phone at 608-261-7823.

Wisconsin Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Governor Appointed)

The Wisconsin Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH) is a committee made up nine individuals that acts as an advocate for individuals in Wisconsin who are Deaf, hard of hearing or Deaf-blind. CDHH acts in an advisory capacity to the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) located within the Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources. CDHH will also provide consultative services to governmental bodies, private groups or individuals as needed. CDHH was established

CDHH is made up of three members of the Deaf community, three hard of hearing members, one deaf-blind member and two members at large. CDHH members serve staggered four-year terms. The quarterly meetings are open-meeting sessions where community members and interested parties are encouraged to attend.

For more information about the Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and to learn how to become a member, visit https://dhhcouncil.wisconsin.gov/ or contact Amber Mullett via email at Amber.Mullett@wisconsin.gov or by phone at 608-261-7823.

Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities (Governor Appointed)

The Wisconsin Council on Physical Disabilities (CPD) invites you to work with them to improve the lives of people with physical disabilities. The Council is seeking individuals, organizations, professional associations, providers, and others to become part of their network. Together we can work toward a world where all persons with physical disabilities have access to the same life choices and opportunities as any other Wisconsin citizen.

The Council has five major responsibilities it is charged with through state statute.

  • Develop a state plan for services to people with physical disabilities.
  • Advise state agencies on programs and policies that affect people with physical disabilities.
  • Promote public understanding of the abilities and concerns of people with physical disabilities.
  • Encourage development of programs to prevent physical disabilities.
  • Submit recommendations in an annual report to the legislature.

The Council was created by the state legislature in 1989. It is comprised of 14 members appointed by the Governor for staggered three-year terms. One Council position is reserved for the Governor's representative, and the rest are unpaid volunteers. At least six members must be people with physical disabilities, two members may be parents, guardians, or relatives of a physically disabled person and at least one member must be a service provider to people with physical disabilities. To learn more about CPD, please visit: https://cpd.wisconsin.gov.

If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more, please contact Lisa Sobczyk with Department of Health Services at lisa.sobczyk@wisconsin.gov or 608-266-9354.

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WI Councils Looking for Members from NE WI
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