Riverfront Inc. https://www.riverfrontinc.org Adults with disabilities find the resources they need at Riverfront. Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:19:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2017 Game On!https://www.riverfrontinc.org/2017-game-on https://www.riverfrontinc.org/2017-game-on#comments Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:33:17 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=7600 The post 2017 Game On! appeared first on Riverfront Inc..

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Tuesday, February 2https://www.riverfrontinc.org/tuesday-february-2 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/tuesday-february-2#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:08:38 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=5552 Riverfront’s Black River Falls location is closed today, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 due to forecasted weather. There will be no Day Service or Community Based Services from this office today. All other locations will open with normal hours of operation. Please check this site and your local media for updated announcements regarding any possible changes.

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Riverfront’s Black River Falls location is closed today, Tuesday, February 2, 2016 due to forecasted weather. There will be no Day Service or Community Based Services from this office today.

All other locations will open with normal hours of operation. Please check this site and your local media for updated announcements regarding any possible changes.

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Forward Janesville Honors Riverfront with Diversity Awardhttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/forward-janesville-honors-riverfront-diversity-award https://www.riverfrontinc.org/forward-janesville-honors-riverfront-diversity-award#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:14:03 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=4354 Forward Janesville honored Riverfront Inc. with the 2015 Diversity Award at the Fourteenth Annual Forward Janesville Awards Luncheon on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Riverfront was selected by peer businesses and community members as the honoree for the 2015 Diversity Award because of it’s exemplary contributions in implementing policies procedures and/or programs that enhance the diversity...

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Forward Janesville honored Riverfront Inc. with the 2015 Diversity Award at the Fourteenth Annual Forward Janesville Awards Luncheon on Thursday, January 29, 2015.

Riverfront was selected by peer businesses and community members as the honoree for the 2015 Diversity Award because of it’s exemplary contributions in implementing policies procedures and/or programs that enhance the diversity in the Janesville community.

Congratulations to the employees of the Riverfront Inc. Janesville offices on receiving this award. The award is a testament to your hard work and dedication to provide a continuum of innovative support for individuals with disabilities.

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Wisconsin’s Older Worker Network Names Riverfront the 2014 Host Agency of the Yearhttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/wisconsins-older-worker-network-names-riverfront-2014-host-agency-year https://www.riverfrontinc.org/wisconsins-older-worker-network-names-riverfront-2014-host-agency-year#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:24:06 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=4053 Wisconsin’s Older Worker Network (OWN) has named Riverfront, Inc. the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Host Agency Award. The honor is presented to a nonprofit organization or public/government agency based on a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of employment opportunities for older workers. Workforce Connections nominated Riverfront, noting that with mutual respect and trust, older...

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Wisconsin’s Older Worker Network (OWN) has named Riverfront, Inc. the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Host Agency Award. The honor is presented to a nonprofit organization or public/government agency based on a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of employment opportunities for older workers. Workforce Connections nominated Riverfront, noting that with mutual respect and trust, older workers employed at Riverfront build relationships with staff and the adults with disabilities the agency serves.

The award was presented on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at the WETA/OWN Annual Conference at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Steven’s Point.

“We appreciate this recognition and the opportunities Workforce Connections provides to incorporate older workers into our team,” said Mary Kessens, Riverfront President and CEO. “Their diverse life experiences add depth to our workforce.”

Riverfront helps older adults prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce through the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), providing them with on-the-job training, skill development and progress evaluations. The older workers gain experience in production support, providing assistance and demonstrating job tasks to individuals with disabilities. The jobs expand their skill sets and improve their opportunities for employment.

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Governor Walker Recognizes Riverfront Participantshttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/governor-walker-recognizes-riverfront-participants https://www.riverfrontinc.org/governor-walker-recognizes-riverfront-participants#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:08:59 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3813 Governor Walker Recognizes the Work of Riverfront Participant Employment Team     La Crosse, WI- A certificate of recognition from Governor Scott Walker will be presented to Riverfront participants employed to maintain Rest Area 31, Eastbound I-90, La Crosse. The recognition is part of the governor’s “Year of the Better Bottom Line,” to encourage employment...

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Governor Walker Recognizes the Work of Riverfront Participant Employment Team    

La Crosse, WI- A certificate of recognition from Governor Scott Walker will be presented to Riverfront participants employed to maintain Rest Area 31, Eastbound I-90, La Crosse. The recognition is part of the governor’s “Year of the Better Bottom Line,” to encourage employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Tom VanBeek, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) and Tom Packard, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin (RFW), will present the certificate.The Wisconsin DOT employs people with disabilities at rest areas statewide through the Rest Area Maintenance (RAM) program, overseen by RFW.

The presentation will take place Wednesday, September 10th at 11:00 a.m., at Rest Area 31, Eastbound I-90 in La Crosse.

“We appreciate this recognition of the good work of Riverfront participants who maintain the rest area and keep the facility clean and welcoming for visitors to Wisconsin,” said Mary Kessens, Riverfront President and CEO. “It’s a testament to the benefits of employing adults with disabilities.”

Riverfront’s RAM team typically consists of six to ten employees. Depending on their employment goals, team members work partial or full days to maintain the I-90 rest area, and they always have the support of a Riverfront coach to provide guidance as needed. The successful collaboration of Riverfront and the DOT spans more than 15 years and has provided training and employment dozens of adults with disabilities in the La Crosse area.

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Registration Deadline Extended!https://www.riverfrontinc.org/registration-deadline-extended https://www.riverfrontinc.org/registration-deadline-extended#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:07:30 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3811 The registration deadline for the Seven Rivers Region Community Challenge Summit has been extended to September 17th. Registration information is available at https://www.riverfrontinc.org/community-challenge-summit .

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The registration deadline for the Seven Rivers Region Community Challenge Summit has been extended to September 17th. Registration information is available at https://www.riverfrontinc.org/community-challenge-summit .

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Keep Options Available for Adults with Disabiltieshttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/keep-options-available-adults-disabilties https://www.riverfrontinc.org/keep-options-available-adults-disabilties#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:12:52 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3756 A plan recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) may eliminate all facility-based work centers so that all adults with disabilities will work in community-based employment. We support DHS’s plan to increase community-based jobs—Riverfront serves twice as many participants in community jobs as in our work centers. As experts in our field,...

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A plan recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) may eliminate all facility-based work centers so that all adults with disabilities will work in community-based employment.

We support DHS’s plan to increase community-based jobs—Riverfront serves twice as many participants in community jobs as in our work centers. As experts in our field, we’ve learned that 100% community employment is not a realistic goal. A “one-size fits all” approach to employment cannot serve individuals with a diverse range of abilities.

Many adults employed at work centers have profound disabilities and require one-to-one personal care assistance with basic daily needs such as eating and toileting. Those individuals will never achieve productivity greater than 10-20% of a non-disabled person— they will not find community-based employment.

The changes stem from the federal level. Some states have chosen to maintain work centers; others have closed all work centers to focus on community employment. When work centers close, adults with profound disabilities suffer— they become isolated and typically work less hours, if at all.

Because the federal guidelines are incomplete, Wisconsin’s plan has ambiguities and calls for more direction for several federal agencies. We believe once the DHS receives additional guidance and updates there should be an additional 30-day public comment period.

September 2 is the deadline to act. Please contact DHS, your legislator and Governor Walker and tell them to:
1) Preserve the full range of options for people with disabilities.
2) Recognize that the current DHS plan is incomplete.
3) Request another 30-day comment period after the Wisconsin plan is amended.

To learn more about how work centers serve our communities, contact Riverfront at info@nullriverfrontinc.org or visit www.ateamwisconsin.org for current news.

Please make your voice heard before September 2, 2014 and contact DHS, your legislators and Governor Walker. Thank you.

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The “A-TEAM” Voice your Choice Tour Stops at Riverfronthttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/riverfront-stop-team-voice-choice-tour https://www.riverfrontinc.org/riverfront-stop-team-voice-choice-tour#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 21:09:53 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3664 Individuals with Disabilities and Families Tour Wisconsin to Protect Their Choices Wednesday, August 6th  10:30 a.m Riverfront, Inc., 3000 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54650 About the Event Hundreds of individuals with disabilities and their families plan to mobilize at 10 stops around the state to voice their choice in response to the Department of...

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Individuals with Disabilities and Families Tour Wisconsin to Protect Their Choices

Wednesday, August 6th  10:30 a.m
Riverfront, Inc., 3000 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54650

About the Event

Hundreds of individuals with disabilities and their families plan to mobilize at 10 stops around the state to voice their choice in response to the Department of Health Services (DHS) proposed changes to the Family Care Waiver. This proposal is concerning to families who want to preserve the full array of employment and home choices for their loved ones with significant disabilities. Examples of service choices include integrated community employment, supported employment, community-based pre-vocational training, community –based day services, as well as, facility-based services.

Beginning August 1st, 2014, the public has 30 days to make their comments, feedback, and advisement to the state officials with DHS on how they plan to follow the federal government’s Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) rules. Organizers of the Voice your Choice Tour want to ensure that people with disabilities who may be affected by these proposed changes, along with their devoted family members, are aware of the proposal and advised on how to exercise their rights to comment on it. At the events, self – advocates and families will be provided information on the proposed changes, a communication tool kit and important facts to consider when preparing a public comment.

Find information on the tour and how to take action.

Background on Family Care Renewal Process

The official draft of the Family Care Waiver Renewal Applications and Transition Plan is posted for public comment.

About A TEAM –Wisconsin

There are 7 active chapters of the A TEAM Wisconsin from around the state; including Southeastern Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley, Crawford County, Central Wisconsin, South Central Wisconsin, Washington County and Chilton. In addition, there are advocacy groups throughout the state that share the same mission to protect the full array of service choices for individuals with disabilities who will be participating in the tour, as well.

The A-TEAM has become a leader in the grassroots movement across Wisconsin and has sparked national attention because it was founded by parents and families, who are not constrained by formal expectations of state advocacy groups, government programs, or otherwise. Instead, it is led and expanded organically through the efforts of individuals with disabilities and their loved ones. The mission is simple; protect and sustain all choices that promote independence. United for choice!

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The Community Challenge Summithttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/community-challenge-summit https://www.riverfrontinc.org/community-challenge-summit#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:13:39 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3619 Tackling complex and systemic issues throughout the Seven Rivers Region Riverfront, Inc., in partnership with Forward Community Investments, is hosting the Community Challenge Summit this fall to examine how to tackle complex and systemic community concerns. Issues such as poverty, mental health, adults with disabilities, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, sustainability, and health and wellness...

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Tackling complex and systemic issues throughout the Seven Rivers Region

Riverfront, Inc., in partnership with Forward Community Investments, is hosting the Community Challenge Summit this fall to examine how to tackle complex and systemic community concerns. Issues such as poverty, mental health, adults with disabilities, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, sustainability, and health and wellness are often inter-related, and this summit will challenge attendees to identify new opportunities for innovation and collaboration to address complex, persistent issues.

Register here.

Riverfront, whose mission is to provide a spectrum of innovative support services to people with disabilities, has teamed with Forward Community Investments to bring national experts on systems thinking, social innovation, collaboration, and collective impact to the Seven Rivers Region to educate and train summit attendees. Forward Community Investments calls this process “Tackling Wicked Problems” and has provided similar events in Marshfield and Oshkosh. By definition, wicked problems are large and complex systems with no easy solutions.

With financial support from the La Crosse Community Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation, and the Robert and Eleanor Franke Foundation, Riverfront aims to bring together problem solvers from all sectors – nonprofit, government, education, health care, business, faith, and philanthropy. Each sector is unique and has its own way of approaching problems, and the summit creates the opportunity to begin creating a common language and framework for solutions within the community, “This community is full of generous, smart people. Donors increasingly scrutinize whether their philanthropy duplicates, or competes with, other similar efforts. Our board and donors want to support focused projects with demonstrable outcomes,” said Sheila Garrity, Executive Director for the La Crosse Community Foundation.

“Our region has many complex challenges, one of which is meeting the needs of children and adults with disabilities. They’re a diverse group, and may have multiple health, physical, behavior, financial or transportation challenges. Rural issues are different from our more urban areas. As government funding shrinks, communities are challenged with how to support people with disabilities as contributing citizens” said Mary Kessens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Riverfront. “Riverfront is proud to lead this summit. It’ll require us to think differently and use new strategies. There’s a strong collaborative spirit in this region and together we can accomplish more. The collaborative learning experience can be applied to many community challenges.”

“Coming up with long-term solutions to complex social problems requires collaboration and innovation, and we at the Robert and Eleanor Franke Foundation are thrilled to be part of the effort,” said Mel Hoffman, Executive Director of the Robert and Eleanor Franke Foundation. “Problems don’t happen overnight and they aren’t fixed in short order, either. Together, we have a much better chance of finding the right answers.”

The five-day summit will be held over a period of eight weeks, and will examine a wide range of community challenges and strategies that are proving effective in helping to solve issues through presentations, exercises and case studies.  According to Kessens, the follow up activities are as important as the educational opportunities of this process. “Nothing happens unless people take action after the summit. We’ve built action steps into the process.” After the summit is complete, Riverfront’s follow up sessions will target new options for providing services to people with disabilities.

Dates: Sept. 23, Oct.7, 21, Nov. 4 and 20
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Registration and Networking: 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Presentation kickoff: 8:30 a.m.)
Where: La Crosse Center: 300 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse, WI 54601
Cost: $125* per participant, which includes refreshments, lunch and all materials for all five days.

*Individuals representing nonprofit organizations who attend all five sessions will receive a full refund of $125.00.
Registration: Required by Sept. 17. Find additional information here or register now.

Presenters

Michael Goodman, an internationally recognized speaker, author and practitioner in the fields of systems thinking and organizational learning and change. Michael excels in helping leaders understand why their well-intentioned efforts to solve social problems often fail, and where to find leverage in a complex system.

Jeff Snell, is the founder of Midwest Social Innovation LLC and co-founder of Midwest Consortium for Social Innovation, a regional platform to promote cross-sector, enterprise-based solutions to social problems — a departure from conventional charity approaches.

Michael Soika, director of Milwaukee Succeeds, has spent over 30 years addressing many issues including education, homelessness, affordable housing, economic development and welfare reform. Milwaukee Succeeds is a collaborative effort launched in summer 2011 as a way to unite the community around a common goal: bringing about lasting change to the way education works for children in Milwaukee.

Dennis Johnson and Ben Williams, advisors with Forward Community Investments, help nonprofits across Wisconsin make sound and strategic decisions for their near-term success and long-term sustainability. When setting the course for an organization to maximize its mission-related impact, Dennis and Ben often turn to “what if” scenarios and/or the exploration of strategic and sustainable collaboratives.

About Riverfront

Riverfront, Inc. began its mission in 1977 as a private, nonprofit organization to provide employment, independent living, and leisure opportunities to adults with disabilities in La Crosse County. Since then, the organization has grown to support just under 1,400 individuals annually. Riverfront operates from eight locations in 40 different counties throughout western and southern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota.

About Forward Community Investments

Forward Community Investments, a Wisconsin-based community loan fund, is an investor, connector and advisor for organizations and initiatives that reduce social, racial, and economic disparities in Wisconsin communities. As the most established financial management advisor of its kind in Wisconsin, Forward Community Investments provides its clients with guidance, resources, skills and capacity building as a means of building an equitable and inclusive Wisconsin built on cooperative social action.

About the La Crosse Community Foundation

La Crosse Community Foundation is a public charity created, over 80 years ago, by and for the people of La Crosse. The foundation holds unrestricted, donor advised, designated and field of interest funds along with supporting organizations, from which qualified charities receive grants to meet community needs and build on community assets. The La Crosse Community Foundation meets all standards set by the Council on Foundations for community foundations. The Foundation’s activities are under the direction of an eleven member board of directors representing the greater La Crosse area.

About the Otto Bremer Foundation

Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. This mission is based on the intent of founder Otto Bremer. His vision and longstanding commitment to communities during and after the Great Depression are carried forward today through the Foundation’s work in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks. The Foundation strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities—communities where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone’s reach. The Otto Bremer Foundation owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank, and receives an equivalent share of the bank profits that are paid out as dividends. This means that a large portion of bank profit is invested back in local communities through grants and program-related investments. In 2013 the Foundation provided approximately $38 million in grants and program-related investments.

About the Robert and Eleanor Franke Foundation

The Foundation is a non-profit Wisconsin corporation located in La Crosse, whose purpose is to support the La Crosse Community Foundation, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare and the Diocese of La Crosse through a residuary gift of $20 million from the Estate of Robert Franke. One-third of the earnings of the Foundation are undesignated and are available for distribution to IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations throughout the Greater La Crosse area.

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Senator Jennifer Shilling to Receive the 2014 Government Leadership Awardhttps://www.riverfrontinc.org/senator-jennifer-shilling-receive-2014-government-leadership-award-rehabilitation-wisconsin-wisconsin-rehabilitation-association https://www.riverfrontinc.org/senator-jennifer-shilling-receive-2014-government-leadership-award-rehabilitation-wisconsin-wisconsin-rehabilitation-association#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:47:11 +0000 https://www.riverfrontinc.org/?p=3162 The 2014 Rehabilitation for Wisconsin/Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association Government Leadership Award will be presented to Senator Jennifer Shilling at the Rehabilitation and Transition Conference in Green Bay, Wis., May 1st, 2014. “Empowering individuals with special needs to identify their unique abilities and maximize their potential continues to be a priority for me as a state senator,”...

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The 2014 Rehabilitation for Wisconsin/Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association Government Leadership Award will be presented to Senator Jennifer Shilling at the Rehabilitation and Transition Conference in Green Bay, Wis., May 1st, 2014.

“Empowering individuals with special needs to identify their unique abilities and maximize their potential continues to be a priority for me as a state senator,” said Sen. Shilling. “Strengthening job training and employment assistance services for people with disabilities is a smart investment for taxpayers, workers, and businesses. I am honored to receive this award, and I remain committed to helping our friends and neighbors with disabilities secure quality, long-term employment.”

Each year, Rehabilitation for Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Association solicit nominations for this prestigious award. Decisions about who will receive the award are made based on the nominee’s contributions to legislation, policies, and/or practices affecting people with disabilities. Past winners of the award include Representative Peter Barca, Representative Pat Strachota, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades, and Senator Kathleen Vineout.

“We nominated Senator Shilling for her ongoing commitment to advocating for individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin, and for her recent legislative success in strengthening job training through increased funding to the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation,” said Mary Kessens, Riverfront, Inc. President and CEO.

The legislation, co-authored by Senator Shilling and Representative Katrina Shankland, increases federal funding for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), which operates under the Department of Workforce Development. Access to employment services and counseling provided by the DVR allows people with disabilities to secure employment and increase self-sufficiency. The passage of this legislation, known as 2013 Wisconsin Act 58, will expand access to employment for individuals with disabilities by significantly reducing waiting lists at the DVR.

Senator Shilling joined the Wisconsin legislature in 2000, serving as a Representative from Wisconsin’s 95th Assembly District, which includes La Crosse County. In 2011 she was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in a special election, and was reelected in 2012.

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