In addition to providing five (5) core services (Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Information and Referral, Peer Support, and Transition), Options developed additional services to meet the needs of people with disabilities and those who are older in an effort to empower them to become independent in their communities. All services are listed below.
Advocacy is a central component of Options. Staff provides training, information, and support to promote an individual's right to full inclusion within his or her community. Options encourages individuals to become involved in local, state, and federal legislative issues that affect people with disabilities. Options has a legislative network for individuals looking to advocate on State and Federal issues concerning people with disabilities. To sign up for the network, click the Act Now link below.
Peer Support is available from staff and trained volunteers who have personally experienced a disability and have attained a substantial degree of independence. Staff and trained peer support volunteers can assist an individual to learn how to cope through sharing of real-life experiences.
Information & Referral
Information & Referral provides information about disability related community services and resources to people with disabilities, families, professionals, and the general public. Topics ranging from adaptive equipment, housing information, transportation resources, benefits, and much more. If we don’t have the answer, we may be able to refer you to the place/person that does.
Independent Living Skill Training
Independent Living Skills Training is provided in groups or on a one-to-one basis to help individuals achieve their goals. Training areas include but are not limited to: self-advocacy, budgeting, household maintenance, and more.
Institutional Transition - Help with transitioning from a nursing home, or other institution, back home or into the community.
Diversion - Help for individuals with disabilities who are at risk of entering institutions and wish to remain at home or in the community.
Youth Transition - We help youth with disabilities, who have completed high school transition into the next phase of their life, whether they are continuing their education, entering the job market, looking to gain skills for living independently, etc., by helping them access community resources, learn self-advocacy skills, gain independent living skills, etc.
Options provides an array of services to our community, including: assessment and technical assistance to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and 504 Public Housing, as well as presentations on disability communication etiquette.
Work Incentives Benefits Counseling
Individuals with disabilities are given information about how employment can affect their disability benefits, healthcare, and other publicly funded benefits. This includes an explanation on the work incentives available to them. The information they receive can help them make informed choices about work.
Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. Options’ staff directly assist individuals with disabilities in the selection, acquisition, and use of assistive technology devices through demonstration and loan of equipment.
Wisconsin WisLoan and Telework Programs
WisLoan and Telework are statewide alternative loan programs that allow Wisconsin residents with disabilities to finance assistive technology or equipment needed to live more independently and productively, or to become self-employed or work from home. Loans can be used to purchase assistive technology equipment such as wheelchairs, scooters, hearing aids, modifications for a van, tools or equipment for work, etc.
Options provides recreational opportunities and equipment to promote equal access to outdoors, team sports and video gaming. With a heavy focus on improving or maintaining quality of life and positive mental health our goal is to provide access to equipment and programming for people who are interested in learning about or trying new hobbies without an up-front risky investment or looking for peers who share similar interests. We can connect individuals with resource opportunities in such areas as hiking, fishing, hunting, biking, wheelchair basketball, softball and bowling, state park access, accessible playgrounds and more. Video gaming opportunities include adaptive controllers, games and independent living skills training.
This service provides an in-depth evaluation of specific barriers in an individual’s home and/or vehicle. One of our specialists will provide specific recommendations to remove the barriers and improve accessibility for maximum independence. This service can also provide review of residential construction plans to improve accessibility, incorporate features consistent with universal design, visitability, and to age in place.
Medicaid Personal Care Program
Options Personal Assistance Services program empowers people with disabilities, or their families, to manage their own in-home cares. Credentialed to bill Medicaid, Family Care, CLTS & IRIS, we are able to provide personal care, supportive home care, respite & on-going daily living skills training. As part of managing their own cares, consumers are required to recommend their own Care Workers (some restrictions apply). Options will then employ their workers and provide oversight by our staff RN and/or Care Coordinator.
HOME Loan Program
Options for Independent Living provides deferred payment no-interest loans to eligible homeowners in Options’ service area who need to modify their home for accessibility or complete general home repairs. The loans are focused on providing resources to households that include someone who has a disability, is elderly, and is at low-to-moderate income status (as described by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD). The loan is secured by a lien on the property and must be paid back when the property is sold, transferred or ceases to be the borrower's principal place of residence. Types of projects include (but not limited to) ramp construction, bathroom, kitchen and bedroom modifications, along with general housing improvements and repairs.
Lend Equipment Network Distribution Program
Open from 9 am - 11:30 am and 12:30 pm - 3 pm Monday - Friday, Options accepts donations of used adaptive equipment such as manual wheelchairs, rollators, tub transfer benches, raised toilet seats, crutches, walkers and canes. These devices are loaned to individuals who do not have insurance or resources to purchase the respective item(s).