The BPDD provides many opportunities for people with disabilities, their family members, and community members to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Wisconsin. Below is a quick snapshot of current and upcoming BPDD events and opportunities you or someone you know can participate in!
SPARKS Grants: Do you want to improve the lives of people with disabilities in your community? If the answer is yes, apply for a SPARKS Grant! The purpose of SPARKS Grants is to develop local groups to work on identified changes in their communities through grassroots community organizing. Projects that focus on Get Out The Vote (GOTV), state legislative issues, and local advocacy opportunities will be given priority, but other grassroots community organizing projects will also be considered. Complete and submit an application packet by 12:00 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2013.
Partners in Policymaking: Apply for Wisconsin Partners in Policymaking and learn how to advocate for policy and systems change! Self-advocates and family members of a person with a developmental disability who want to improve their leadership skills are encouraged to apply for Partners. This six-session program advances advocacy skills and teaches participants how to communicate with legislators about issues concerning people with disabilities. The deadline to apply is Sep. 1, 2013.
Mosaic Art Contest: Self-advocates, ages 18 and older, can submit their original artwork to the unique Mosaic Art Contest. Entries of 2D visual art, photography, and poetry featuring the theme of self-determination are due by 12:00 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 20, 2013. Prizes will be awarded and first place award winners will have their artwork displayed in the BPDD’s office for one year.
Take Your Legislator to Work: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and BPDD is celebrating Wisconsin workers with disabilities with the Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign. The BPDD is looking for people with disabilities who love their jobs and want to show their legislator the importance of community-integrated employment. Stay tuned to BPDD’s website for the most current information.
Employment First Conference: Mark your calendars for the first statewide Wisconsin Employment First Conference on Apr. 3, 2014 at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. This conference is for anyone interested in increasing community-integrated employment for people with disabilities and will address various topics about Employment First policies and practices. More information will be available in the fall.
Don’t wait for the next News ‘N notes - stay informed! To stay up-to-date with BPDD news and events, ‘Like’ BPDD on Facebook and follow BPDD on Twitter. Also, for access to the latest disability advocacy opportunities, join DAWN (Disability Advocates: Wisconsin Network). DAWN members receive advocacy alerts via email and text message. DAWN is a BPDD project.