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 >

Celebrate the 24th Anniversary of the ADA

Twenty-four years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed in to law by President George H.W. Bush. The landmark law casts out discrimination in employment, transportation, and public accommodations. The effects of this legislation are seen in the removal of physical barriers through the addition of accessible entrances to buildings, automatic opening doors, and accessible public transportation.

The ADA helps integrate people living with disabilities in to the fabric of our communities. With increased access to education and assistive technologies, people with disabilities are expanding their opportunities in the workplace, which is proving to be smart business for many organizations.

July 26 is a day to celebrate the achievements our nation has made in forwarding the civil rights and protections of individuals with disabilities. This is a great time to take note of the advances out nation has made in embracing diversity while helping all its citizens take advantage of their equal opportunity to lead fulfilling lives. For more information about the ADA go to http://www.ada.gov.

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? Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI) would like to learn from you about your experiences with work.

ERI hopes to connect with young adults 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. You may also share your experiences by filling out a short survey, which will keep you informed of the project.

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

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.

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
19
Orientation Consultants
17 IRIS Consultant Supervisors

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