What is IRIS?

IRIS Include, Respect, I Self-Direct is Wisconsin's Self-Directed Supports Program for older people and adults with disabilities.

In IRIS you determine the combination of supports and services you need, including who will provide the services and when and how they will be provided. The IRIS team is available at every step to help you build the life you want with the support you need!

Learn more about the IRIS program >

Self-Determination and Art Meet with the 2014 Mosaic Art Contest

Drawing from the 2013 Mosaic Art ContestBPDD encourages self-advocates to enter artwork that represents self-determination!

Self-advocates are encouraged to submit original artwork for the 2014 Mosaic Art Contest!

Mosaic is a unique art contest for self-advocates who live in Wisconsin and want to express what self-determination and/or self-advocacy means to them through their art. The theme for the 2014 contest is Mission: Possible – Discovering the Potential in Our Communities. Your art submission should focus on this theme. The art contest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) and is conducted in conjunction with the 2014 Wisconsin Self-Determination Conference. 

BPDD will accept artwork in three categories: 2-D visual art, photography, and poetry. All submitted artwork will be featured on BPDD’s Facebook Page and all participants will receive a certificate of participation. One overall Grand Prize Winner will be awarded and each category will recognize one Top Prize Winner. All artwork will be displayed at the 2014 Wisconsin Self-Determination Conference.

Print from the 2013 Mosaic Art ContestPrizes for the 2014 Mosaic Art Contest: 

  • Grand Prize Winner - $500
  • Top Prize Winner - $200 (one for each category)

More information about the art contest is available, including: artwork categories and guidelines, contest rules, and awards, recognition, and prizes. Information about how to submit your artwork, including the entry 

form, is also available. The deadline to submit artwork is 12:00 p.m. on Friday, September 5, 2014.

All entries must be original artwork created by the person submitting the artwork. A self-advocate is an individual with a disability who is eligible for - or using - long-term care supports. Only entries from self-advocates living in Wisconsin will be accepted. Artwork should represent the theme of self-determination.

If you have any questions, or need assistance with submitting your artwork, contact Fil Clissa at or (608) 266-5395.

DHS Website Update

The IRIS portion of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website has been updated. This website is a great resource for people looking to gain general information about the IRIS program.

Join the ERI Employment Discussion

Are you a person with a physical disability and is under the age of 30? ERI would like to learn from you about your experiences with work.

ERI hopes to connect with young adults (under 30) with physical disabilities and learn what barriers to employment are being experienced. If you would like to join their discussion group, please visit the
ERI Conversations website now to sign up and choose how you prefer to participate.

Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI) is an organization whose mission is to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities in all parts of Wisconsin. To learn more about their work,
visit their website

New IRIS Connections

Have you seen the latest issue of “IRIS Connections?”  Take a moment to check it out!

  • Learn about self-determination and living in your community

  • Read about how three IRIS Participants self-direct their lives

  • Discover helpful self-direction resources

  • View upcoming events

Look for the upcoming spring issue to feature articles on community living. Back issues of the IRIS newsletter are always available under the “Newsletter” tab.

Questions or comments about the newsletter? Email us at Communications@Wisconsin-IRIS.com.

Graduation and Summertime Plans

Are you finishing your high school journey this year? Now is a good time to make plans for services that will begin soon after graduation. This is also a great time to talk with your IRIS Consultant if you are thinking about attending summer camps or making other summertime plans. Make sure to contact your IRIS Consultant or the IRIS Information Center at 1-888-515-4747 if you need to make any adjustments to your IRIS plan.

Wisconsin Dementia Care System Redesign

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is working toward redesigning the system of dementia care in Wisconsin in order to provide appropriate, safe, and cost-effective care for individuals throughout the course of the disease.

In an effort to make Wisconsin more “dementia-capable,” the Department has developed a plan to address gaps in the current care delivery infrastructure and expand community and crisis services for people with dementia. A draft of this plan is available for your review.

Your cooperation is an important part of developing a more dementia-capable system of care in our state. Thank you for your continued partnership in this important initiative.

helping you find a home

WIHousingSearch.org is now available to help you find available homes in your area. This website site provides basic and advanced accessible searches to locate housing that meets individual needs. Visitors can search by proximity, which allows them to find properties within a selected distance from desired locations such as work, school, public transit, or a family member’s house. Other helpful resources such as a rent calculator and links to other housing resources are also available. All searches are free and anonymous.

WIHousingSearch.org is supported by a bilingual call center available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST). Contact the call center, toll-free at 1-877-428-8844.

This new tool is made possible with funding from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Wisconsin Division of Housing.

VBA Insurance Open Enrollment

Participant-hired workers can enroll in Voluntary Benefits Agency (VBA) insurance, (medical, dental, and vision), from June 11–25. The new insurance plan begins August 1 for anyone enrolled. If you have hired workers, please inform your staff of the open enrollment period.

To enroll, call 1-866-301-9375 and choose option 1.

If someone wants to cancel their VBA insurance, the VBA Insurance Cancellation Form is available the Handbooks and Forms page in the Employee section.

Remember that there are other insurance options available because of the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.

IRIS Community Data

On June 30, 2014 the following people were included in IRIS:

Illustration of a group of people
10,692 IRIS Participants
253 IRIS Consultants
Orientation Consultants
17 IRIS Consultant Supervisors

Adobe® Reader® 8.0 or higher may be necessary to view some of these forms. To update your software download Adobe® Reader® XI.



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Blog Posts

IRIS Listening Sessions Coming Soon!

Posted by Brenda Bauer on July 10, 2014 at 10:30am

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