Wisconsin Resource for Families

Waisman Center

February 1, 2021

Image includes a person giving a child a piggy back ride
Image includes a person giving a child a piggy back ride

During COVID-19, the UCEDD at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison has regularly updated its website to include family and self-advocate friendly materials that change daily as new information and resources emerge. The UCEDD's Constituent Advisory Committee members provides guidance on what is most helpful and how to present information to maximize the user experience. 

In addition to keeping up on constantly changing COVID-19 information, there is also a need for short, focused topics that support families. "Conversations on Showing Up for Kids!" was developed to be an informal time and space for families to learn, share and ask questions. Based on input from families and other stakeholders, weekly virtual 30-45-minute conversations include resources for families who wanted to dig deeper into a topic. In response to COVID-19, early conversations included the following topics:  what to do over the summer without summer camps; how to help my child with increased anxiety; how to engage my child in learning from home; how to address IEPs with virtual education and more.  All conversations are recorded and posted on YouTube along with resource lists from each talk. The program ended 2020 with a special series on "Home for the Holidays." Due to the positive response, the series is continuing in 2021. Learn more: https://cyshcn.waisman.wisc.edu/conversations-on-showing-up-for-kids/

In addition to providing information about the changing pandemic landscape, families still need basic service system information. For 10 years the UCEDD has partnered with Wisconsin State Department of Health Service Title V Maternal and Child Health Program to publish a navigation guide that is readily available to families online and in print. The guide helps families to understand Medicaid, health care, education, financial considerations, adolescent transition and more. The Finding Your Way: A Navigation Guide for Wisconsin Families Who Have Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities is newly updated as it continues to be a successful approach to helping families navigate a complex system of services and supports. The Guide was reviewed by families and content experts. In addition to family support organizations, the guide is being provided to children's long-term support programs, early interventions programs, complex care units, therapy offices, home visitors and more based on input from stakeholders. Learn more: https://ucedd.waisman.wisc.edu/fyw/