Gov. Walker's plan to help disabled commended, some hope for quick local action

By: Joe Nelson Email
By: Joe Nelson Email
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The governor's plan to help people with disabilities find jobs is moving forward with some saying action is needed now.

In his State of the State address, Governor Scott Walker (R) outlined plans to expand a program to help high school kids with disabilities find jobs, and increase funding for training.

Cory Meitner has been working at the Best Western Plus Trail Lodge in Eau Claire as a public space attendant for nearly six years.

“They provide me a job coach here and everything and things like that that way I can perform my job better,” Meitner said.

Meitner, who has a learning disability, found his job through Reach Incorporated, an organization that helps people with a wide range of abilities find work or day programs to contribute in the community.

On Wednesday, Walker announced his plans to give people with disabilities more opportunities to work through project search, for high school seniors and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for adults.

“All in all, we understand that for an economic recovery to be real, we cannot leave anyone behind,” Walker said.

“We know in Wisconsin, we have a great network of providers in existence that we're ready to place more people w/ disabilities in the community if there's funding to do so. We need that money to come down to the local level,” Reach Inc. President and CEO Stacy H. Wigfield said.

Wigfield said he's excited about the governor's plans, but hopes any additional funding will go to expanding what's in place rather than researching needs.

“I'm really looking forward to everything the governor said and we're ready.”

“They're a very underestimated group, there's a lot more that they can do than they can't do.”

Meitner said some people with disabilities are hesitant to apply for jobs.

“Anybody with disabilities; Get out there, make a difference and go for it,” he said.


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