Waisman Resource Center photo of families

The Waisman Resource Center is open, but we are working remotely.  You may call 608-265-8610 or 800-532-3321 and leave a message. If you could spell out your email address in your message, that will help us to follow up with you more quickly.  When we call back, we may call from a number that shows as blocked.  If you cannot wait and have a more immediate need for health information and referral, you could call the Well Badger Resource Center at 800-642-7837.

Seeking Public Input

The Governor’s Task Force on Caregiving is asking for public input on draft policy proposals to help support and strengthen the direct care workforce, increase access to care, and improve the quality of caregiving in Wisconsin. The task force would like feedback from people in Wisconsin with a wide range of perspectives and experience, including family caregivers, paid direct support professionals, people receiving care, communities of color, and people living in urban and rural settings.

Materials on the policy proposals and a public input survey will be available on the task force website from June 29 through July 14.

BPDD Conversation Cafes

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) is holding virtual Conversation Cafes to gather ideas for its new 5-year plan. We want to know what you think we can do to help people with disabilities and their families have more control over their lives and be more involved in their community. Join us to share your thoughts. Your voice is needed! For more information go to https://wi-bpdd.org/index.php/2020/06/16/state-plan-virtual-cafes/ or download a flyer–BPDD_Virtual_Listening_Sessions_Flyer

COVID-19 Resources for children with special health needs and the families who care for them

Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay. –Maya Angelou

Waisman Center Resources and Updates

WI DHS Higher Risk/Families with CYSHCN Resources

Join an online interview with Temple Grandin and Nancy Gianni presented by the Community Resource Network on July 25th at 2:00pm to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the ADA. Attendance is limited and you must register.

Participate in a Preschool Development Grant (PDG) listening session with the Department of Children and Families. Sessions for the Southern Region will be held July 14th 6:30-8:00pm and July 20th 9:30-11:00am. There will also be a session in Spanish on July 21st 6:30-8:00pm. More information and registration is available in English and Spanish.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics

Family Engagement Newsletter from WI FACETS–focus on Speech and Language Development and some cool resources for summer!

Upcoming Webinars/On-line Conferences

Southern Regional Center for CYSHCN Conversations on Showing Up for Kids!

  • Camp Cancelled? Ideas for Summer 2020 PART TWO!(Live June 17, 2020) Recording available on YouTube
  • Camp Cancelled? Ideas for Summer 2020 (Live June 10, 2020) Recording available on YouTube
  • Special Education and IEPs (Live June 3, 2020) Recording available on YouTube
  • Rural Wisconsin: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Live May 27, 2020). Recording available on YouTube
  • Anxiety: Ideas to help our kids be calm(er) and (more) focused (Live May 20, 2020). Recording available on YouTube
  • What we can learn from a virtual school (Live May 13, 2020). Recording available on YouTube
  • Learning from home and Neurodiversity (Live May 6. 2020). Recording available on YouTube

For Mothers of Black Children with Disabilities, Living with Twice the Fear from Forbes

2020 Juventuras Clubes Virtuales/Juventuras Virtual Clubs from Centro Hispano of Dane County

Staying Resilient Through the Challenges of Autism During COVID-19 from The Mighty

ASSIST–Parents of youth with an autism spectrum disorder age 16-26 are invited to participate in a new research program looking to improve parents’ ability to advocate. Contact the Waisman Center at transition@waisman.wisc.edu 0r (608) 265-3165. More info on the flyer- ASSIST

Making Fathers Visible in Maternal and Child Health from National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)

Innovative Strategies for Promoting Developmental Health in Rural Alaska from National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ)

Talking with Young Kids about Racism, Police Brutality, and Protests FVJuneeBlast2020 from Family Voices (.pdf)

Madison Summer Options

To Parents, From a Family in ‘COVID-19 Mode’ for 10 Years from The Mighty

Resilient Wisconsin: Trauma-informed News and Notes, June 2020 from Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Considering a Complementary Health Approach? information from the National Institutes of Health

Resource List to Stay Saner at Home this Summer from Family Voices of Wisconsin

Tips for Supporting Infants and Young Children’s Transition as we Re-Open from Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health

100 Things to do this summer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (you may need to answer some questions to access the full article)

6 fun ideas for summer fun now that camp has been cancelled from CNN

Wisconsin Virtual Field Trips from National Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

Reimagining Summer: Planning for the New Normal  Summer 2020 Family Voices Newsletter

Family Engagement Newsletter from WI FACETS. June’s topic is ADD/ADHD also with an article on Understanding Special Education Guidance during COVID-19.

Inspiring Possibilities Newsletter including articles on Virtual IEP Meetings, Distance Learning and Challenging Behaviors and Keeping Students Motivated from Home from PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment

Guidance on re-opening during COVID-19 pandemic in ways that protect people with disabilities and older adults from the Wisconsin Survival Coalition

COVID-19 Special Issue from Exceptional Parent

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Kids with Special Healthcare Needs. On a podcast from RadioMD, which features experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a pediatrician who focuses on CSHCN discusses ideas for how families can cope with the pandemic, especially when the supports provided by schools are unavailable. Listen to the podcast.

Managing Home Healthcare and Access to Medical Supplies During COVID-19. A video from the Child Neurology Foundation features the father of a young adult who requires 24-hour care interviewing a home health provider about how care is changing. See the video.

Mental Wellness Newsletter including an Anxiety Grounding Technique from WI Office of Children’s Mental Health (5.27.20)

COVID-19 Information for Children’s Health Advocates from National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (updated 5.24.20)

The Science of Happiness for KIDS! Optimism, resilience, growth mindsets, courage, confidence, and well-being are skills that kids can learn at any age.

A few resources for families with younger children

Governor Tony Evers proclaimed May as Resilient Wisconsin Month.

A few nuggets from the news

A few mental health resources

Spanish Language friends/coworkers? Send them to Consejo Latino Para la Salud for videos, testing information and more about COVID-19 from the Latino Health Council.

A few resources for families with younger children

UW Department of Psychiatry has put together some awesome mental health resources

COVID-19 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

Supporting younger children from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

Family Engagement May Newsletter from WI FACETS (Resilience and Mental Health)

A couple of resources for Teens

FREE weekly video social skills with Social Detective.

Staying Resilient During COVID-19 Compassion Resilience Toolkit from Wise and Rogers InHealth

6 Online Therapy Tips for Preschoolers With Disabilities During COVID-19 from The Mighty

Being Prepared: What Families Can Do Now Family Voices of Wisconsin Spring Newsletter

Resources for Families to Support Learning from Home During COVID-19

Handout on Anxiety and Autism–helpful tips from Martha Walter who presented at the CoP ASD/DD in March. (I think some of us might be experiencing some anxiety recently).  Presentations from the CoP ASD/DD Anxiety and Autism gathering are available.

A LOT of resources to help support students with ASD learning from home.

WI DHS COVID-19 Resources and Information

All in for Kids newsletter about services and supports provided through WI Children’s Long Term Support Waiver

Finding You NEW NORMAL during COVID-19 is a very comprehensive resource/course from Respite Care Association of Wisconsin.

GiGi’s Playhouse, Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, offers GiGi’s at Home with free therapeutic and educational programming. https://gigisplayhouse.org/gigisathome/

PBS Wisconsin and Milwaukee PBS, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), announce an ambitious new tv broadcast schedule to support At-Home Learning, accompanied by curriculum-aligned digital resources.

In this challenging time, we all need to reach out to connect with others in a safe space.” Check out this opportunity through You Are Not Alone by the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health.

Basic Resources on COVID-19 to Use and Share by The ARC Wisconsin

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times by AFIRM (Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules)

ABC for Health (Health insurance/benefits) information during COVID-19

COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities–put together by self-advocates in Vermont.

COVID-19 Response and Resources from Autism Society

COVID-19 page which includes Educational Resources for teaching at home from the National Down Syndrome Society.

Well-Being Toolkit and Resources from Center for Healthy Minds (UW Madison)

The Waisman Resource Center was created to serve as a bridge to link faculty, staff and community partners with members of the public who are seeking information about developmental disabilities and the range of community services and supports available. 800-532-3321 or wrc@waisman.wisc.edu


  • Provide free and confidential information and assistance
  • Assist research investigators and program directors to share project information
  • Respond to requests for training
  • Promote greater awareness of the Waisman Center
  • Serve as a university-based training and demonstration site

Assistance to Families and Community

  • Identify resources and supports for families
  • Problem-solve with families based on their questions
  • Provide consultation about health insurance and coverage

Assistance to Waisman Staff and Faculty

  • Highlight and encourage participation in current research
  • Provide resources to share with families
  • Offer opportunities for trainees
  • Provide training to faculty and staff about disability-related community resources
  • Facilitate dissemination of information that corresponds to the work of Waisman Center investigators and staff.

Located on the first floor of the Waisman Center, the Waisman Resource Center (WRC) provides free and confidential information and assistance in identifying and accessing resources for children, youth and adults with disabilities and/or special health care needs, their families and the professionals within their community. Families visiting the Waisman Resource Center can learn more about services, resources, organizations and information specific to their questions and concerns.