March 19, 2018
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


This is a busy time in our community.  We want to point out that B.L.I.N.D. Day at the Statehouse has been rescheduled to this Thursday, because of the last week'sblizzard.  Also, Tuesday is I.L. Education Day at the Statehouse.

Did you know ADAPT is in day eleven of a protest in Washington, D.C.?  They are fighting to ban aversives.  Please support them any way you can.

We still have our survey on ACO's. Please take the survey and share it far and wide.  There is also a need for voting procedure accessibility testers. 

Until next week,  as always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial: Lead On, ADAPT!

ADAPT is at it again.  They are showing, once again, that they hold the high ground in our movement when it comes to putting their money and their bodies where their mouth is.  By the time you read this, ADAPT will be in their 11th day outside the home of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director, Scott Gottlieb.  Since 2016, the FDA has had draft regulations which would ban the use of electric shock devices as therapy on people with disabilities.  Commissiomer Gottlieb has refused to release the regulations.

For too long, we have been fighting to shut down the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton.  Torture is not treatment!

You can follow ADAPT here.  

You can donate here.  They can use your support. Consider making a donation to help our courageous brothers and sisters. 

We at the DPC say, in the words of the immortal Justin Dart "Lead On, ADAPT!"
Add Your Voice: Important Survey

Is MassHealth your primary insurer? Do you have a disability? Are you the guardian or surrogate for a person with disability? If so...

We ask you to complete this YesHealth Survey. The survey contains questions about the new ACO plans that began on March 1. These new ACO plans now affect people who have MassHealth as their primary insurer.

We are asking people with disabilities (or their guardians/surrogates) who have MassHealth as their primary
payer to complete this survey. The survey was created in the
spirit of "Nothing About Us Without Us," and "About Us, By Us."  So, it reflects feedback from consumers who participated in
outreach done by DAAHR, including at a forum held in Boston. 

Why the YesHealth survey?

The purpose of the survey is to help DPC and our allies in DAAHR better understand just how much consumers know about the new ACO plans. We also want to know about your experiences getting information about the new ACO plans from MassHealth and your plans.

Your feedback on this survey will help DAAHR in our work to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

Please click on this link to complete the survey:
Advocacy Opportunity: Opportunity to Test the Voting Process 

The Perkins School for the Blind will be testing voting tools to determine the level of accessibility and to provide feedback in regards to the user experience. To help with this endeavor, Perkins is looking for individuals who could participate in the roles of poll work or tester.

Perkins will be creating the environment of a "mock election" and going through the voting process as if it were a real election.

This project will take place on the Perkins Campus in Watertown, MA. The dates are as follows:

Friday, April 6th (Non-Disabled, Non-native English) Location: Perkins Campus : 10 AM - 4 PM

Monday, April 9th (Mobility) Location: (TBD): 10 AM - 4 PM

Wednesday, April 11th (Low Vision and Blind) Location: Perkins Campus: 10 AM - 4 PM

Perkins is still searching for testers with low vision or mobility limitations, especially those who could test a sip and puff or switch control device. And they are offering a $25.00 Amazon gift card to all volunteers that complete the testing module, as an incentive. If you are interested, and/or have questions, please contact Akira Fujita, Accessibility Consultant, at or (617) 972-7804.
Net News: Council that Administers LSAT Held in Contempt, Court Extends Consent Decree

According to the ABA Journal, a publication of the American Bar Association, a judge has held the Law School Admissions Council in contempt of court for partially violating a consent decree.  The Council which administers the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) violated the consent decree requiring reasonable accommodations for test takers with disabilities.  You can read more here.
Net News: More Minorities See Doctors After Medicaid Reform

Journalists Resource is reporting that a new study published in Health Affairs is announcing that, in Oregon, health disparatities, faced by racial minorities, decreased markedly under Medicaid reform in that state.  You can read more here.   
Calendar: I.L. Education Day at the Statehouse

When:  Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 10:30 - Noon 

Where:  Grand Staircase, State House Boston Massachusetts


Registration:  10:30AM 
Speakers:  11:00AM to 12:00PM 

Join MASILC Members, Independent Living Center members and staff along with community allies in a day of Independent Living Education with legislators.  

This event is sponsored by the SILC Public Education and Information Committee, Massachusetts 11 Independent Living Centers, MRC State Rehab Council and Disability Policy Consortium.

To request or confirm communication access or other reasonable accommodations for the speaking event email  or call 508-620-7452. 

A SL and CART have been confirmed.  We will fill other access requests that are possible within the current timeline.

To request communication access for visits with legislators contact:
State House ADA Coordinator Carl Richardson
Phone: (617) 727-1100 x35502 Fax: (617) 727-7700
Rescheduled!!: Blind Legislative Informational Networking Day

When:  Thursday, March 22, 2018, from 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM 
Where: The Great Hall, at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

The Governor's proposed budget for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) for fiscal year 2019 has recommended essentially level funding. However, MCB faces a $1.55 million annual deficit despite significant recent cuts. This is due to historic practices and systemic issues triggered by several recent external factors. 

Early this fall Federal Vocational Rehabilitation funding was reduced and MCB was monitored by the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The audit exposed fiscal issues going back more than 30 years and a finding ignored by MCB when last audited by RSA in 2009. MCB is working with the Baker Administration and Legislature to secure additional funding beyond that proposed in the Governor's budget in order to eliminate this deficit.

The Governor's proposed budget for FY2019 for the Perkins and Worcester libraries has recommended another year of level-funding for these important programs. Advocates will be asking for an appropriation of $454,966 for the Worcester Talking Book Library line item 7000-9402; and an amount of $2,588,155 for the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library line item 7000-9406 - the amounts requested by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to support both of these important library programs.

Funding support is also needed for special education for students with disabilities for FY2019. Support for special education circuit-breaker funding for Chapter 766 private school tuition rates is also needed.

This is a critical year to make your voices heard at the State House - services as you have known them are clearly at risk and must be preserved! Please add your voice to our advocacy efforts!
Calendar: Off the Rails at the ReelAbilities Film Festival

When: Thursday. March 29, e2018, 7:00 pm

Where: Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Off the Rails 

The remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger's syndrome, whose love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors. Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone, he remains imprisoned in Rikers Island in New York. Darius' story embodies the criminal justice system's failure to channel the passions of a mentally challenged man into a purposeful life.

Discussion to follow with film subjects Sally Butler, Esq., lawyer for Darius McCollum; and Liz Loebman, Forensic Social Worker.

Co-presented with Asperger/Autism Network, Roxbury International Film Festival, Disability Law Center, Aspire, and Harvard Law School Project.

Tickets $10 each online at

Share this event on Facebook:
Calendar:  One Care TeleTown Hall

When:  Tuesday March 27, 2018, 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Join us on the phone.

Tell the Implementation Council:

What is working?

What needs to be fixed?

Call Toll Free 1 (877) 300-1240.

Calendar:  Summit on Accessible Transportation

When:  Tuesday March 27, 2018, 2:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where:    Boston Public Library - Copley Square,McKim Building, Guastavino Room
230 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116

You are invited to join the Boston Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA (AACT), and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for a discussion on accessible transportation.

We want to hear from you!
  • Help shape the Boston Region MPO's Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • Provide input on accessible transportation needs and opportunities for people of all abilities traveling in Boston
  • Learn about new innovations and speak with transportation professionals, including: The MBTA, The RIDE, WAV Taxis, Uber, bicycle and pedestrian planners, and more!
ASL and CART provided. This is a scent free event.

To request an accommodation or translation, contact us by March 20th at:
617-635-3682 / 617-635-2541 TTY

Pre-Register and Request Accommodations
* Pre-registration is not required to attend.
Calendar: Architectural Access Board Public Hearing Dates 521 CMR

Below you will find the dates and locations for the public hearings on the proposed changes to 521 CMR. They are also on the AAB website.

The proposed updates are online at

We have been advocating for these changes for a long time. Compliance with these regulations should make more housing accessible and remove barriers for employment for people with disabilities. Please attend a hearing, and let the AAB know that we support these changes.

March 22, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Fall River Government Center
The Atrium
1 Government Center (if this address doesn't come up on GPS use 30 Third Street, building is across the street)
Fall River, MA
Parking: Third Street Parking Garage, 157 Third St, Fall River, MA 02721
1 Government Center Fall River MA

March 29, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
UMass Amherst
Lincoln Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way Room 163C
Amherst, MA
Parking: The parking garage is located next to the Campus Center
UMass Campus Maps

April 5, 2018 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
One Ashburton Place
21st Floor, Conference Rooms 1 and 2
Boston, MA

April 12, 2018 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Worcester State University
May Street Auditorium
May Street Building
280 May StreetWorcester, MA
Parking: There is on-street parking located around the May St. Building

April 26, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Salem State University
Petrowski Room
Marsh Hall #210
71B Loring Ave, Salem
Parking: Follow signs for Enterprise Center parking
Salem State University Campus Map

May 24, 2018 8:30 - 12:30
Cape Cod Community College
Science Lecture Hall C
2240 Iyannough RoadWest Barnstable, MA
Parking: Lots 8 and 9
Cape Cod Community College Campus Map

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request (note that CART and ASL services have been requested from MCDHH). Include a description of the accommodation you will need,
including as much detail as you can. Also include a way we can contact you if we need more information. 

Please allow at least two weeks (14 days) advance notice. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to Thomas Hopkins at or contact him by telephone at 617-727-0660.

Our thanks to MetroWest Center for Independent Living for sharing this with us.
In This Issue
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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