Centers for the Developmentally Disabled

Applies to: Anyone who is receiving services for a developmental disability in any of the three centers operated by the state of Wisconsin:

Northern Wisconsin Center in Chippewa Falls (NWC)

Central Wisconsin Center in Madison (CWC)

Southern Wisconsin Center in Union Grove (SWC)

Patient rights rules for individuals receiving services from state centers are listed in:

  • Sec. 51.61 (PDF, scroll to page 53), Wisconsin Statutes, and
  • DHS 94 (PDF), Wisconsin Administrative Code

These individuals also have rights under federal law and DHS 134 (PDF) Wisconsin Administrative Code, for facilities serving people with developmental disabilities.

These additional rights are explained in a pamphlet entitled Rights of Individuals Receiving Services from State Centers for the Developmentally Disabled Under Federal Law and DHS 94, Wisconsin Administrative Code P-20330 handed out to parents and guardians upon admission of their child / ward to the Center. Each living unit also has a poster listing the rights of individuals at the Center. The webpage Forms, Publications and Posters has additional information

Anyone receiving services from a state Center or their parent or guardian can file a grievance if they feel any of these rights are being violated. They can file a complaint with the Center's Client Rights Specialist or the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA), or both.

The name and phone number of the Center's Client Rights Specialist may be obtained by contacting the Center.

The Division Long Term Care (DLTC), which operates the state Centers, has a four-stage grievance resolution process (PDF, 12 KB) for complaints.

Complaints of rights violations may also be taken directly to court under Sec. 51.61(7) (PDF), Wisconsin Statutes (scroll to page 57).

The use of the grievance procedure is not required before going to court, but a grievance can be dismissed at the stage it is being considered once the matter is taken to court.

Last Revised: July 27, 2015