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Wisconsin First Step
c/o Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center
Wisconsin First Step is a statewide Information and Referral (I&R) hotline that serves families with children and youth who have special needs. The line is operational 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Parent Specialists, who have disability expertise and a child with a special need, answer the line Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wisconsin First Step has two components. It serves as the Central Directory for Wisconsin’s Birth To 3 Program. This statewide program provides supports and services to infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities and their families. Another component is to work closely with the Regional Centers for Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs to provide a network of services for families and providers. A health and human services database of disability-related resources has been developed and is regularly updated. Local, regional, statewide, and national resources are available. This database is utilized by Parent Specialists and the Regional Center staff to give out information and disability-related referrals. The following categories of information can be found in the database: Early Intervention Services; Financial Assistance; Parent and Family Support Groups and Networking; Home Health Care; Therapy Providers; Education; Medical Resources; Medical Diagnosis and Evaluation; Advocacy and Legal Services; Transportation; Assistive Devices; Respite Care.