In 2022, WI LEND Self-Advocacy discipline trainee Elise Fjelstad wrote a feature for the UW-Madison campus newspaper, The Badger Herald, entitled “Equity, not equality: UW disability community mobilizes for more equitable accommodation access, campus climate.” Elise highlights how students and faculty with disabilities are working towards more visibility and accessibility on campus. In an effort to uplift marginalized voices, she felt it was important to feature the work of people actually in the community and to serve as a reminder of the fact that there is always more work to do in fighting for an equitable world. “[UW students] said they believe faculty could use more training on how to both implement accommodations in their specific classes and interact with students who have accommodations — but proper access to accommodations is just the start of improving disability inclusion on campus.” Read more about what it means to have an inclusive and equitable campus for students with disabilities in Elise’s article.
In 2020, WI LEND Social Work Trainee Kiley McLean took on a leadership role in development and implementation of the policy curriculum during her 2nd year. She mentored trainees in the policymaking process and in how to educate policymakers in different ways about issues related to the disability community. She has also engaged in advocacy of her own related to COVID-19 and people with disabilities. She published “Don’t Leave People with Disabilities Behind in Coronavirus Relief” in The Cap Times and “COVID-19 Relief Package: We are Essential” in AUCD Policy Talk. Through this, she advocated for “specific funding for direct support professionals that support people with disabilities, sick and paid leave for those caring for their loves ones with disabilities, specified funding for Medicaid home and community-based services, stimulus payments to all people with disabilities, and dedication to nondiscriminatory practices in health care.” Check out the article and Kiley’s AUCD post.
In 2019, WI LEND Public Health Trainee Kali A. Kramolis and Robert A. Peterson Jr. of the Madison-based ABC for Health published “Robert A. Peterson Jr. and Kali A. Kramolis: Valuable child health care program is flying under the radar” in The Cap Times. HealthCheck is a federal Medicaid program that can provide critical preventive healthcare to Wisconsin children, but it is underutilized. “Historically, Wisconsin consistently fails to address and serve the health care needs of many vulnerable children. We can and must do better. And we will. That is why we are creating an action plan to help Wisconsin’s children.” The HealthCheck Task Force worked on developing accessible outreach to help ensure everyone is aware of this vital program. Click here for the full article.