Direct Support Professional/Staff Appreciation Week

Last week we celebrated Direct Support Professional/Staff Appreciation Week, and it was fun.  Many people were involved in letting the staff know how much they are appreciated.  Highlights for me included the heartfelt messages of gratitude that families wrote to our staff and the cheers from associates as staff names were pulled for drawings and announced over the PA system.  I believe the staff got the message that each one makes a big difference in the lives of people at LPP.


Thank you for everything that was done to make this week so special!

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

Dear Parents and Friends of Lakeside Packaging Plus,

The LPP Management Team is preparing to celebrate Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, September 13-17.  We are hoping to make it a memorable week for very special people.  LPP would not exist without Direct Support Professionals, as well as our other staff members.  Banners are being donated, along with gift cards for a drawing.  Managers have come up with fun and meaningful ways to express appreciation.  The Board of Directors is providing lunch from the Olive Garden.  We can also use your help.

If you would like to join LPP in recognizing the vital work that our staff members perform, please send a message via email, telephone, or mail that we can place on a board on an easel and display in a prominent location for our staff to read.  I know it will be powerful.  Please send directly to me at:

(920) 231-0870

Notes may be mailed or dropped off at either location.  Please direct it to Margaret’s attention. 

Many people have jobs. Direct Support Professionals don’t have jobs, they have callings.  It is believing they make a difference that keeps our staff members in the Human Services field.

Thank you.

Margaret Winn, CEO

A-Team Action Alert – National Voice Your Choice

Urgent Action Alert!  Please be aware that if President Biden’s stimulus package goes through it may mean the end of 14C of the fair labor law.  Please read this thread and the attached document and call and/or e-mail our senators, Tammie Baldwin and Ron Johnson on Friday, February 5.  Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  Please contact Tom Mentele at Lakeside Packaging Plus at 920-725-8241 with any questions.

Baldwin, Tammy – (D – WI)   Class I

709 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-5653


Johnson, Ron – (R – WI)   Class III

328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510

(202) 224-5323

Protect Special Wage Provision 14c


•   The Biden Administration’s $1.9T Stimulus proposal (Biden American Rescue Plan) includes a provision to eliminate the Special Minimum Wage (Section 14(c)) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

•   Congress and the Administration are currently negotiating proposed legislation in the hope of reaching bipartisan agreement.

•   If agreement is not reached, Democratic legislators may try to pass a bill through a process called budget reconciliation, which would only require Democratic support and cannot be filibustered, which would make it very likely to pass.


•   If the Special Minimum Wage provision (14(c)) is eliminated, you or your loved one may lose the choice to work in a setting that uses this certificate.

•      Most community rehabilitation programs utilize this important certificate to offer training/ work services.


1.    The A-Team is designating FRIDAY, February 5th 2021 as national “Call Your Senator Day.” Call your Senator’s office and let them know you support 14(c).  You may be asked to leave a recorded message, or you may be able to directly give your message. Say  “Senator PLEASE take the 14(c) provision out of the  Stimulus legislation”.

2.   If you prefer, email your Senators through their website.  Tell them why your work/your loved one’s work and 14c are so important and not to eliminate 14c.

3.  Senators phone numbers and email contact info are given at

How to Make a Difference by Running for Elected Office

How to Make a Difference by Running for Elected Office

How are you making a difference for people with disabilities? Maybe you speak up for employing people with disabilities in your own life or lobby lawmakers to make communities more accommodating. But if you’re looking for a way to make a big impact, why not try a run for public office? Running for office is no easy undertaking, especially for people with disabilities. However, with so many people with disabilities underrepresented in government and underserved in our communities, it’s also a powerful — and necessary — step to take.

Are you ready to take the leap and get on the campaign trail? Here’s where to start.

Decide Where to Run

The mayor’s office isn’t the only office to aim for. In addition to mayor, consider submitting your candidacy to become a city council person, school board president or another local government official. Local positions like these are a great place for people new to politics to get their feet wet. You’ll also need to decide on which party you want to represent.

Build a Fundraising Strategy

Raising funds for a political campaign isn’t easy, especially if you’re like many people with disabilities who earn less than their non-disabled peers.

It’s not easy covering reasonable needs like a personal assistant or the cost of running for election. If you intend to run for office, you’ll need to start fundraising early to pay for it. Read up on campaign finance law, reach out to organizations aligned with your cause to find support, and give crowdfunding a try. While online crowdfunding for political campaigns is a relatively new idea, it’s gained a lot of traction in recent elections.

Arm Yourself with the Right Campaign Team

Of course, you’ll need a top-notch team to help get the word and help you raise the money you need for a campaign. But what if you can’t afford a huge team consultant? You can still craft a strong message even with a small budget by relying on freelancers.

Whether you need a graphic designer to create a snappy campaign logo or a content writer to type up a compelling message for your crowdfunding campaign, you can find the help you need by hiring freelancers. If you can’t find the right freelancers in your local network, turn to online job boards that can connect you with independent workers in a wide range of industries.

Assembling a top-notch team and running a campaign also involves making sure everyone is working with capable equipment, so make sure your staff all have updated smartphones and tablets so they can complete tasks efficiently and effectively. On top of that, your campaign will need access to fast and reliable internet with powerful bandwidth.

Proactively Address Accessibility

If you’re running for elected office and you have a disability, you may also want to hire a personal assistant for your campaign. The campaign trail is full of challenges with election events, and it will be crucial to have someone help you proactively navigate these challenges to avoid finding yourself shut out of the conversation.

Keep in mind that hiring a personal assistant makes you an employer. As an employer, you have certain responsibilities, such as not discriminating in the hiring process and having a written contract for your PA.

People with disabilities face numerous hurdles other candidates don’t when it comes to running for office. However, while overcoming these challenges may make your candidacy harder, you shouldn’t let it stop you. Only by increasing representation of people with disabilities in government can we create a government that truly reflects the populace it serves.

Article written by Ed Carter

A-Team logo

Attention A-Team

Good morning A-Team Grassroots –

Friday June 21. We are into our final 3 days for the 14 C Dialogue – let’s make it count! It is hoped we have thousands of comments by our national call this Friday and much to celebrate!

Since sending all of you the updated options for sharing testimony. i.e. direct phone number and email, I have heard from some states that the phone line is not the most conducive for taking testimonies. It is my hunch that the phone line is not prepared for this type of process and should be used as a last resort option.

Our team at Opportunities, Inc. has developed a simple tool for capturing self-advocate and family advocate comments (attached). We will be completing these with our participants and loved ones who haven’t commented yet (via traditional means) and then scan and email them to

If your team has put together a tool/system – please share and I will send on to everyone, as well.

This is our opportunity to advance the A-Team national message!

GO Grassroots GO!

A-Team logo

Attention A-Team Advocates!

ATTENTION A-Team advocates : In January, the United States House and Senate introduced companion bills to raise the minimum wage over time. The bills, H.R. 582 and S. 150, the Raise the Wage Act, include language that would eliminate Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which would eviscerate opportunities for people with significant disabilities who enjoy and want to keep their jobs. Please watch this important message from A-Team members Andy Coughlin and Kris Hale.


We need your help!

If you have gotten a chance to make a comment on this, thank you.  If you haven’t yet we did some clarification on an effective response from the A-team facilitators.

The recommendation was to keep it simple, positive and personal.  With forums like this, the number of responses is more impactful than the length. 

A-Team – 3 times

1. Subject Line (something to identify our group but not all the same-“A-team/Big Lake” would be good for our group)

2. First sentence of comment (example: My name is ________ and I am member of the A-Team. Our mission is to ensure people with disabilities have a full array of choices for work, home and life.)

 3. Closing of comment: Thank you, (name ____________

Body of Comment:

  • Keep it to one or two sentences.
  • “Thank you” for inviting public comment on this important topic of employment choice. My (family member) or I am very proud of my work at my CRP and want to be sure this continues. I do believe in the choice of CIE too and its value within Wisconsin’s full array of services.
  • *** Remember to keep your comment about the importance of a full array and the dignity of employment. Confirm the importance of Community Integrated Employment too.
  • Be gracious and positive.

Our goal is to get 20 replies from A-team Big Lake.  Thanks for taking the time to do this.