MADISON – The 2014 Rehabilitation for Wisconsin/Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association Government Leadership Award will be presented to Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) at the Rehabilitation and Transition Conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin on May 1, 2014.
Each year, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association solicit nominations for this prestigious award. Decisions about who will receive the award are made based on the nominee’s contributions to legislation, policies, and/or practices affecting people with disabilities. Past winners of the award include Representative Peter Barca, Representative Pat Strachota, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary, Kitty Rhoades, and Senator Kathleen Vinehout.
“We nominated Senator Shilling for her ongoing commitment to advocating for individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin, and for her recent legislative success in strengthening job training through increased funding to the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation,” said Mary Kessens, Riverfront, Inc. President and CEO.
“Empowering individuals with special needs to identify their unique abilities and maximize their potential continues to be a priority for me as a state senator,” said Sen. Shilling. “Strengthening job training and employment assistance services for people with disabilities is a smart investment for taxpayers, workers, and businesses. I am honored to receive this award, and I remain committed to helping our friends and neighbors with disabilities secure quality, long-term employment.”
The legislation, co-authored by Senator Shilling and Representative Katrina Shankland, increases federal funding for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), which operates under the Department of Workforce Development. Access to employment services and counseling provided by the DVR allows people with disabilities to secure employment and increase self-sufficiency. The passage of this legislation, known as 2013 Wisconsin Act 58, will expand access to employment for individuals with disabilities by significantly reducing waiting lists at the DVR.
Senator Shilling joined the Wisconsin legislature in 2000, serving as a Representative from Wisconsin’s 95th Assembly District, which includes La Crosse County. In 2011 she was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in a special election, and was reelected in 2012.
Rehabilitation for Wisconsin (RFW) is a state-wide, nonprofit organization that supports the employment of people with disabilities through the management of WisDOT’s Rest Area Maintenance program and the in-service education of rehabilitation professionals through the annual conference it co-sponsors with the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association (WRA).
WRA is a member organization committed to the promotion of ethical and excellent practice in rehabilitation through collaboration, education and advocacy. For more information, visitwww.rfw.org and www.wra-org.org.
Riverfront, Inc. began its mission in 1977 as a private, nonprofit organization to provide employment, independent living, and leisure opportunities to adults with disabilities in La Crosse County. Since then, the organization has grown to support just under 1,400 individuals annually. Riverfront operates from eight locations in 40 different counties throughout western and southern Wisconsin and south eastern Minnesota. For more information, visit www.riverfrontinc.org
Category: Local News