March 7, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

Dear (Contact First Name),

What a week for disability advocacy in Massachusetts.  Last Thursday, the Senate approved five, count 'em, five bills related to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the Commonwealth.  Believe me, this doesn't happen often.  

Two of the DPC priorities this year, the AAB bill (S1323) and the Employment Bill (S2142), were among the measures approved.  Now it is on to the House for all five measures.   You can read more here.   

We have two advocacy opportunities for you in this weeks Update.  We also have a couple of job openings including one at the DPC.  Lastly, the Worcester Telegram had a good story about advocates for the Deaf and their efforts to fight cutbacks at MCDHH.

As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Calendar: MOD Regional Meeting
When:  Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Where:  Levi Lincoln  Chambers, Room 309, Worcester City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester, MA 

The Massachusetts Office on Disability will be holding a regional meeting for members of local Commissions on Disability and interested people hosted by the Worcester Commission on Disabilities. 

It will be an opportunity to hear from David D'Arcangelo, Director, Massachusetts Office on Disability.

Discussion will include the impact of the budget on people with disabilities and an update on what MOD has been doing throughout the state as well as other initiatives that involve the COD's. There will also be time allowed for a general discussion among commission members to network with one another.

This will provide an opportunity to share what your commission has accomplished in the past year as well as time to discuss any roadblocks you may be encountering. Light refreshments will be provided.

We hope you all can join us. Anyone who is interested in this Regional Commission meeting should contact me by March 2, 2016 at the above number. Please advise me no later than March 2, 2016 if you need an accommodation.

Please be aware of the following:
1.   This meeting is open to all COD's and their membership; however, physical mailings only went out to COD's around the Worcester region. 
2.    For other  Regional Commission on Disability Meetings, please visit our website.  There may be an upcoming meeting closer to your region.
3.     Pre-Registration is required.  Contact me if you are interested in attending this meeting by the dates listed above.

Jeffrey L. Dougan
Assistant Director for Community Services

Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-7440
Fax: 617-727-0965
Calendar :  Massachusetts Annual Independent Living Education Day at the State House
When: Thursday, March 10, 2016, 11am-3pm

Where: Great Hall (2nd floor), Massachusetts State House

Lunch will be provided.

On March 10, members, consumers and staff of all 11 Independent Living Centers in Massachusetts will gather at the State House to educate our legislators about top priorities for people with disabilities. Please join us to tell your legislators what matters to you!

Please contact your local Independent Living Center to let them know if you will be attending.  They may be able to help you set up meetings with your State Representative or Senator.

We will be speaking out for these priorities:
  • Improve architectural access by aligning Massachusetts Architectural Access Board regulations with the Americans with Disabilities Act (bill SD 1323)
  • Create more job opportunities for people with disabilities (bill SD S.86, HD.110)
  • Expand Mass Rehab Commission's assistive technology programs in the state budget
  • Increase affordable housing for low-income people with disabilities by adding $2.5 million to the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (line item 7004-9030)
  • Protect the Independent Living Center line item (4120-0200) in the state budget and increase it by $500,000

See you on March 10th!

Calendar:  Calendar: Our Space, Our Place Career Exploration Workshops

Save the date for these upcoming workshops.

1. A Day of Science

When: Saturday March 12, 2016, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Where: The Aquarium, Boston, MA

This workshop is for middle and high school students who are blind. Are you curious? A career in science may be just the thing for you. Join us and take part in  hands-on experiments and meet scientists who are blind.
  • Participate in hands-on experiments
  • Explore careers in STEM, interacting with scientists who are blind
  • Together plan ways to continue learning and experimenting
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided
For more information call: Our Space Our Place, Inc.  Phone: (617) 459-4084.  

2. World of Careers

When: Thursday March 24, 2016, 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Where: Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, MA

This workshop is for middle school, , high school and college students and adults who are blind. Meet professionals who are blind and learn about specific tasks for different jobs.

Learn directly from professionals in a variety of fields. You will have 10 minutes to conduct an informational interview with a professional: at the end of the ten minutes a bell will sound and you now have another ten minutes to conduct another informational interview with a new professional and so on and so on.

To request an accommodation, please let us know by Thursday March 10, 2016.

For more information, please call: (617) 459-4084

Register at:
Calendar: Open Caption Showing Batman vs. Superman
When:  Sunday, March 27, 2016, Noon

Where: Regal Cinemas at Solomon Pond in Marlborough, MA

Mass AG Bell is pleased to announce the scheduling of an 
open-captioned version of Batman v. Superman, the latest movie blockbuster  that will hit theaters in late March.

On Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 12:00 pm, Regal Cinemas
at the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA, will display 
Batman v. Superman in 3D, with open captions available 
on the screen.

Despite the wonderful technological advancements made in 
captioning movies at theaters in recent years, it can be an  harrowing experience because the technology currently 
used is far from reliable. With open captions, the text is 
displayed right on the screen, view-able by all without any need  for additional technology.

The movie is open to the public, and all can attend. Given it 
is the opening weekend of the movie, it is be advised to purchase  tickets in advance if you intend on going, to ensure you will  have a seat. You can purchase tickets through Fandango or  your website of choice.

The   Fandango link is here:

Please be sure to select the 12 pm showing that Fandango marks  as open captioned.

The Solomon Pond Mall in Marlboro, MA is located just 
off rts. 290, 495, and 90, making it a very central location for 
many residents in the state. The theater is 50 minutes from 
Boston and 20 minutes from Worcester.

Mass AG Bell would like to thank Regal Cinemas for helping 
facilitate the first of what we hope will be several  open-captioned movies throughout the year.

We hope to see you there!

Evan Brunell, Past President
Mass A.G. Bell: Massachusetts Chapter of the Alexander 
Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
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Advocacy Opportunity:  Oppose Cuts to TAFDC 

Governor Baker has proposed to cut TAFDC benefits to 8,500 families in which a parent or child receives SSI due to a severe disability. The proposal would reduce the TAFDC line item in the state budget by terminating TAFDC to 6,900 families and drastically cutting TAFDC to another 1,600 families. Many of these families will be unable to pay their rent and become homeless, and all affected families will face increased hardship. I'm attaching a fact sheet with more information.

Please take action by:
  • Using this link to ask your state representative to urge the House Speaker and Ways and Means Committee to reject this harmful proposal:
  • Sharing this alert with your networks
  • Helping us identify families who will be affected by this proposal because they receive TAFDC and a household member receives SSI. We would like to identify parents who might be willing and able to talk to reporters or legislators about how losing TAFDC would impact their families.
Naomi Meyer
Senior Attorney, Welfare Law Unit
Greater Boston Legal Services
197 Friend Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 603-1621
Direct fax: (617) 904-1778
GBLS fax: (617) 371-1222
Advocacy Opportunity: EEOC Proposes Regulations for Section 501 of Rehab Act 
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describing specific actions that federal agencies must take to comply with their obligation to engage in affirmative action in employment for individuals with disabilities. 

The NPRM is available and was officially published February 24, 2016. Members of the public have 60 days from that date, April 25, 2016, to submit comments. Here's the website where you can see the proposed changes.
Employment Opportunity: Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman (SBOO), One Care Ombudsman (OCO) Program

SUPERVSIOR: OCO Deputy Director
WORK HOURS: 40 hrs/wk

SALARY: $42,000 per annum
FUNDING: Funds committed until 12/30/16 
Funds anticipated through 12/30/18
BENEFITS: Worker's Comp, Health Insurance Premium Coverage: 50% Family and 75% Individual, Sick Leave, Vacation Pay, and Business Travel Mileage Reimbursement. Non-robationary full-time employees have the option of telecommuting two days per week.
TRAVEL: Required, moderate
CORI Check: Required

Principle duties of the Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman:
1) Identify, investigate, resolve and report complaints
2) Work with One Care Plan eligible individuals and enrollees as well as One Care Plans to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns and assist in filing appeals and grievances.
3) Address the Ombudsman concerns and needs of Spanish speaking individuals, families and communities
4) Manage the OCO's outreach strategy and planning, with special focus on the delivery and evaluation of the success of the program's outreach.
5) Bring systemic concerns and patterns to the attention of the OCO Director

The Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman concurrently provides ombudsman services and manages OCO Outreach and Marketing activities. The Ombudsman operates in a manner to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking services and maintains an independent, neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised. The OCO Ombudsman operates under the general direction of the OCO Deputy Director and in accordance with contractual requirements.

Employment Opportunity:  Manager of Conferences and Trainings  

The National Consumer Law Center is seeking a dynamic, highly organized Manager of Conferences and Trainings to help plan, organize and conduct our annual conference, training workshops, webinars, and special events.

We are looking for a motivated and collegial person who is excited to work on behalf of economically vulnerable, low-income people and is interested in growing with our organization. Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the position manages NCLC's extensive training program for over 12,000 lawyers and advocates each year.

Full text of this job posting:
Net News: Advocates for the Deaf Make Presence Known
The Worcester Telegram had an article about advocates for the Deaf attending a hearing at the Statehouse.  The advocates pointed to the devastating cuts to MCDHH which have occurred over the last decade.  You can read about it here. Good job MSAD.   
In This Issue
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
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Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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