|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Tuesday, October 4, 2005
|News Media Contact
Madison - Governor Jim Doyle and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today that Wisconsin has been awarded $2.5 million under the federal Disability Navigator initiative for reimbursement of hurricane relief expenses for Wisconsin and other states. Wisconsin has been selected by US Department of Labor to act as the administrative agent of these funds and will provide reimbursement to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and other states for expenses incurred in the hurricane relief efforts to assist persons with disabilities.
“Wisconsin was selected to receive and administer these funds because of our outstanding successes with the Disability Navigator Program and our work connecting people with disabilities to jobs. Wisconsin was quick to respond to the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and provided staff immediately to work with people with disabilities in the Baton Rouge area,” said Governor Doyle. “People with disabilities have unique needs that must be addressed quickly. During the evacuations many of them had to abandon wheelchairs, walkers and other medical equipment. We are happy to offer our staff to assist and will continue to do so as long as we are needed.”
“This new funding and leadership role given to Wisconsin by US DOL is further evidence of their confidence in our program and in the great success our navigators have produced in connecting people with disabilities to work,” said Secretary Gassman. “These people’s lives have been severely disrupted, and we are happy to provide assistance to them while to get the help and resources they need to pull their lives back together.”
The Disability Navigator Program, established in 2003, operates within Wisconsin’s Job Centers. The program connects people with disabilities to services and work supports to assist them in meeting their career objectives. Earlier this year, Wisconsin received $1.7 million in continued and bonus funding for its Navigator program - one of only 17 states to receive such funding.
The goal of the Navigator Program is to increase employment and self sufficiency for people with disabilities by linking them to employers and connecting them to the labor market. Navigators work directly with people with disabilities to cut the red tape and access needed services.
Navigators have expertise in various disability programs and services, particularly in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability and blindness benefits; Social Security Administration (SSA) work incentives; and other employment support programs.
Content Contact: Rose Lynch