Chuck Quirmbach

Some Wisconsin people with disabilities are raising concerns about their health during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Trump administration says federal money coming to the state should provide some help.

One state resident speaking up is Kristi Scheunemann of Watertown. She was born with spina bifida, which affects her spinal cord. She also has breathing problems and uses a wheelchair. Scheunemann said COVID-19 has cut back the number of caregivers who come to her home, and the caregivers who do come don't have enough personal protective equipment.

Chuck Quirmbach

A UW-Milwaukee center that works on disability issues is developing an online way to inform people about access to public buildings like restaurants. It's hoped the computer system will be ready by the time the Democratic National Convention comes to town next summer. But once finished, the access ratings could be used by anyone.

Emily Files

Legislation aimed at helping dyslexic students in Wisconsin cleared a major hurdle last month when it was approved by the State Assembly. The bill is now in the Senate’s hands. From there, it would go to Gov. Tony Evers, and potentially become Wisconsin’s first dyslexia-specific law. 

But the debate over how to support struggling readers is far from over.

Emily Files / WUWM

Nineteen-year-old Lauren Buchanan is a student at Bethesda College, a specialized program for students with intellectual disabilities. It is run by the nonprofit Bethesda Lutheran Communities, located on Concordia University's campus in Mequon.

"I wanted to go to college because I wanted to meet new friends, see new people and, like, have good relationships, good friendships with people," Buchanan says.

Audrey Nowakowski / WUWM

Only four out of 10 working-aged adults with disabilities are employed nationally, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Thousands of people will leave from, or arrive at, Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Getting through a crowded terminal is tough enough at peak times, but imagine if you were blind or with low vision. 

At Mitchell, there's now free technology to help those individuals move through the airport. And, more Milwaukee County buildings may soon have the same service. 

The service is called Aira.

Screen Capture from Ramp Up Milwaukee Video

Damien Buchman's goal to give disabled people not only access but opportunity. Buchman himself suffered from childhood cancer and almost lost both legs. But he grew up to be an active, athletic adult and wanted to give others the opportunity as well.

Buchman has set his sights on making more of Milwaukee available to everyone, starting at Bradford Beach. He is the founder of The Ability Center and the organizer of RampUp Milwaukee.

Local Volunteer Says She Refuses to Play "Blind Card"

Aug 1, 2013
Vision Forward

As the National Governors Association’s annual meeting kicks off tomorrow with a session on employing people with disabilities, a local volunteer says she is proof that challenges can be overcome.