KAC’s 2021 Virtual Legislators’ Breakfast Welcomes Open, Accessible Conversation
February 22, 2021 (Kenosha, WI.) – Kenosha Achievement Center (KAC), empowering individuals of all abilities, hosted an Annual Legislators’ Breakfast on Monday, February 22. Local and state legislators and public officials as well as KAC staff members, program participants and their families met via Zoom to discuss the matters impacting our community, including accessibility and disability rights. The event aims to provide an environment which welcomes open conversation for attendees to share their experiences and think about how we can continue creating and improving a completely inclusive community.
This year’s event featured remarks from special guests U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Steil focused on the 14C waiver, which provides a special minimum wage to workers with disabilities. As the debate surrounding raising the minimum wage continues, the 14C waiver helps ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue working in the environment they are currently in. Barnes detailed the governor’s “people-focused” budget, including investments in the long-term care workforce and rate increases for personal care workers.
Panelists, consisting of WI State Senator Robert Wirch, WI State Representatives Samantha Kerkman (District 61), Tip McGuire (District 64), Tod Ohnstad (District 65) and Greta Neubauer (District 66) as well as Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian Panelists provided insights into today’s legislative conversations and upcoming bills, including continued conversation surrounding minimum wage, COVID-19 aid, improved internet accessibility and integrated employment.
KAC has been a leader of change in the Kenosha community since 1964 and provided a glimpse into the impact of their services: Children Services, including the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and Early Head Start, Adult Services, including day programs and community employment, and Community Partnerships.
“We have excellent partnerships with every level of government and we are very appreciative of those relationships” says Chris Weyker, chief executive officer at KAC. “It is one of the key components that sort of makes KAC go around and gets really needed services to our community.”
KAC considers the health and safety of its community, employees, participants and their families a priority. In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, KAC remains open and is continuing to provide essential services. This includes operating Care-a-Van Transportation Services, offering virtual home visits and therapy sessions, resuming in-person services at limited capacity and more. Kenosha Achievement Center looks forward to resuming its services to normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so.