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RFW and RSA Agree to Merge


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Rehabilitation for Wisconsin and Residential Services Association of Wisconsin Agree to Merge

May 4, 2017
Madison, WI

Today, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin (RFW) and Residential Services Association of Wisconsin (RSA) entered into an agreement in principle (Merger Agreement) to become the unified voice for disability providers in the State of Wisconsin.

Ten years of significant changes to state and federal disability laws have underscored the benefit of harnessing the energy and power of RFW and RSA into a single entity. Together, the soon to be renamed RFW and RSA have more than 100 years of experience advocating for disability policies that help people with disabilities live, work, and thrive—in both the setting and with the people that best meet each individual’s life goals.

In response to the vast array of sometimes conflicting state and federal laws, regulations, and guidance, the merged RFW and RSA will be positioned to articulate a comprehensive message in support of providers’ continuing efforts to advance the interests of people with disabilities in Wisconsin. RFW and RSA are the experts on disability services in Wisconsin and today’s agreement will permit the combined entity to advocate for providers regardless of setting and to advocate for the whole person to ensure that Wisconsin remains the national leader in quality disability services.

Prior to entering into the Merger Agreement, RFW and RSA formed a Merger Integration Committee that will manage the legal and operational changes required to complete the merger. The Committee has authorized the hiring of a Communications Consultant who will be reaching out to interested stakeholders to participate in focus groups to assist in fulfilling the goals of the Merger.

In June, RFW and RSA will host the first combined meeting of their respective member organizations. RFW and RSA expect the merger to be finalized within 90 days, with a target closing date of August 1, 2017.

For further information, please contact:

Lincoln Burr


RFW, Inc. Education and Rest Area Maintenance Sites

May 3-5, 2017


  Registration Ends April 24, 2017!!

Click here for the working agenda

Click here for Session Information


Navigate 2017 with RFW and RSA!

Federal regulations are rapidly changing the way Wisconsin supports people who experience a disability. As we look toward the future, it’s clear that we are entering uncharted waters. This year, we will focus on navigating those waters.

With anticipated attendance of over 300 professionals, we will be pulling together experts in advocacy, state policy, Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), special minimum wage, job development, guardianship, community rehabilitation programs and residential supports. We will also welcome political experts from both Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

This conference will provide you with tools and takeaway materials that you can implement the day you get back to work. Continuing Education Units (CEU) and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credits will also be provided. Come along and experience some of the best networking opportunities in our industry.

Dennis Winters, Chief Economist, Office of Economic Advisors, is a nationally recognized expert on human resource challenges in the competitive global economic environment. Dennis has expertise in regional and national macroeconomics, energy and labor markets and economic impact analysis. In this presentation, he will address the workforce shortage in Wisconsin.

Curtis Cunningham is the Assistant Administrator of Long Term Care Benefits and Programs in the Division of Medicaid Services, where he is responsible for the provision of long-term support and services for the elderly and people with disabilities. Curtis administers and oversees the Family Care managed care program, IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) program, several community-based Medicaid waiver programs and support services for children with disabilities. In this presentation, he will address the Home &  Community based Services (HCBS) Final Rule.  


Peter Leidy – Innovation Through Improvisation Unlocking Creativity, Getting Results, and Having Fun

When many people think of improv, Drew Carey or Second City may come to mind.  But the rules of improv can be practical, powerful and fun “tools” for generating ideas, unlocking frozen brains, and giving a lift to our teams and workplaces.  While this session will be active and fun, it is not about comedy.  Attendees will learn a new way of generating ideas, “Yes, AND” rather than “Yes, But,” and will experience the positive, creative energy that ensues.  This leads to better opportunities for people being supported, AND, greater joy and satisfaction for the supporters.

Peter Leidy – Seven Ways to Prevent a Crisis 

 Many people labeled with “challenging behavior” spiral into crisis through actions and events that could have been avoided.  Many crises are caused – unintentionally – by the system, the team or the behavior plan.  When people are lonely and disconnected, when life is dull when a “home” does not feel like home, when a place where someone spends the day is not a good match – the likelihood of unwanted behavior increases.  This is not a session about techniques, but rather about how paying attention to quality of life relates to crisis prevention.

Shawn Bass – Managing Threatening Confrontations 

Managing Threatening Confrontations is designed to assist you in learning how to effectively support adults with developmental disabilities and others who could experience the full range of behavioral escalation. These moments often appear chaotic, when to talk, when to step back, who to call for back up, and “when to duck.” This seminar is designed to put order to the chaos. Stages of escalation are described and each stage is paired with a positive action plan for caregivers as well as teams. The content places strong emphasis on pro-active supports. The principles are taught in a straightforward manner so as to provide a framework for conceptualizing behavior escalation that can readily translate into positive plans of action.

Janet Estervig – Personal Care Provision

This session will focus on providing personal care at home and in the workplace. Receive materials to assist in training support staff in the provision of personal care with an emphasis on maintaining the person’s dignity with respectful interactions. Learn tips on providing personal care in community environments as well.

  • Regular registration - $349 (for registrations after March 31, 2017)
  • Regular registration for RFWiA or RSA members - $299 
  • Student registration - $175
  • One day registration fee -  $199 (Thursday only)

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Hotel Reservations

Wilderness Resort

Conference is at Glacier Canyon Lodge

45 Hillman Rd, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 53965

Please call the Wilderness at 1-800-867-9453

State you are with the 2017 Rehabilitation & Transition Conference at Glacier Canyon Lodge Leader #465573 for our block of rooms








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RSA Wisconsin is an association that is dedicated to residential service providers and the people they support. Our members serve a variety of population groups including developmental disabilities, mental illness, frail elderly, and community corrections. Our mission is to advocate and educate for excellence in community residential and support services.

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