May 9, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Last week was a good one for community action and for some good media coverage of an issue about safety for people with disabilities.

There was a great action outside of the Statehouse this past Wednesday by Deaf Grassroots Movement (DGM). Its  purpose is to improve civil rights laws for the Deaf.   Congratulations to DGM for drawing a crowd of six hundred advocates to demonstrate Deaf Power in Massachusetts.  Way to go.

Yes, that was our Colin Killick and Jini Fairley on Channel 25 News.  So exciting to get the word out about the need for accessible pedestrian signals.

In other news this week, we are proud to announce our DPC Annual Meeting on June 8 in Quincy.  I hope to see you there.  We also have some openings on our Board of Directors.  If you are interested or know of qualified candidates please send them our way.

Have a good week and a s always,  good reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Invitation: DPC Annual Meeting

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) I am pleased to invite you to our Annual Meeting.

When:  Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 5:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, One Enterprise Drive, Quincy, MA  02171

We will have shuttle service available from the North Quincy Station on the Red Line.

Dinner will be served.  

Keynote Remarks by Mr. Andrew Veith, President
Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf and
Co-Organizer Deaf Grassroots Movement Massachusetts

To register or request reasonable accommodations please contact  Amy at

Requests for Reasonable Accommodations and registrations must be received by June 1, 2016.
DPC Board: Applicants Wanted  

The DPC has several openings on our Board of Directors for both this year and next year.  We are seeking qualified individuals to join our Board and contribute to the continued growth of our cross-disability advocacy agenda.

Do you have skills which you could bring to our organization?  Can you help expand our diversity and understanding of underrepresented communities?  Do you have experience with fundraising, business, or accounting?

We require our Board Members to:

1.  Attend six Board Meetings per year.
2.  Serve on at least one committee. (Committees meet monthly)
3.  Donate financially to the organization (at a level determined personally).
4.  A commitment to to the civil rights of all persons with disabilities.

If you are interested please send a one page letter outlining the skills and talents you can bring the DPC, along with a copy of your resume.  Send the information to  We look forward to hearing from you.
DPC Follow-up:  Pedestrian Signal Survey Featured on Fox 25 News

Last week, we reported on the survey of the Massachusetts Association of Commissions on Disability and the DPC work on creating a statewide standard for Accessible Pedestrian Signals.  As a first step we were conducting a brief on-line survey.

The story got picked up by Fox 25.   Here is a link to the news story which featured DPC Board Member Jini Fairley and DPC organizer Colin Killick.   
Calendar: Training on the Six Fundamental Rights & Mental Health Laws in Mass.

When: Friday, May 13, 2016, 10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Where: Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, K2-A2 Large Conference Room, 2nd Floor, 305 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA  01604


Nancy Murphy, Staff Attorney, Disability Law Center
Walter Noons, Staff Attorney, Disability Law Center


Christine Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center

Join us for a training on the six fundamental rights and mental health laws in Massachusetts. This will be followed by a Community Feedback Forum.
We are looking for your input on the issues you face as a person or family member of a person with lived experiences of a mental health diagnosis.

Please Note:

Due to the limited parking at Worcester Recovery Center & Hospital guests will be expected to use the shuttle service.

Out of consideration for people with environmental illness and/or multiple chemical sensitivity, please refrain from using perfume or other scented products.

This event is free and open to the public but you must RSVP to attend - RSVP by May 9th

RSVP by May 9, 2016

Register Online, or contact Amanda at or 617-723-8455 x 123

Hosted by the Disability Law Center and DLC's PAIMI Advisory Council
Volunteers Needed:  Transportation Technology Testing

When: Thursday, May 19, 2016, 3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Where: Cambridge Public Library Lobby, 449 Broadway, Cambridge

The City of Cambridge and transportation software startup TransitScreen are looking for volunteers to assist with pilot testing of a new technology for making the City's public transportation information accessible to for people who are blind or have low vision. This technology allows for local transit information from a digital display to be transferred to personal smartphones so that accessibility features like VoiceOver/TalkBack can be used to read it.

We are looking for a group of people who are blind or have low vision and who own smartphones and are familiar with their accessibility features. Testing will take place in the Cambridge Public Library and will include a brief survey, configuration of the technology, use of the technology, and the opportunity to provide feedback. We expect testing will take about an hour, and light snacks will be provided.

We would greatly appreciate your help in making this new technology a success. Kindly RSVP to Kate or Michael at 617-349-4692 or If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Calendar:  Mass Advocates Standing Strong  
When:  Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where:  85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472

We are self-advocates in Massachusetts working together to empower ourselves through education, so we can make choices and improve and enrich our lives.  
"Nothing About Us Without US."

Basic Self Advocacy training
Starting and Maintaining a Self-Advocacy Group
Self-Advocacy Leadership Training (MDDC)
Awareness and Action: Educating Persons with Disabilities to Recognize, Report and respond to Abuse (with BPI)
Legislative Advocacy
Explore, Prepare, Act Basic skills to get a job.

Any questions please send to Keith Miller at
Community News:  Caption Massachusetts

Caption Massachusetts is a brand new organization created to help provide access to open-captioned movies.

"Caption Massachusetts" will regularly set up open-captioned movies, and plays, across the state. Primarily using Regal theaters, popular movies as well as movies voted upon by people who follow Caption Massachusetts on Facebook, will have open-captioning movie dates that will be available for all the public to attend across the Bay State.

Currently, Caption Massachusetts is working to get the following upcoming movies an open-captioned date: The Jungle Book (which was already open-captioned in Westborough this past Sunday), Captain America, Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Legend of Tarzan, and more!

The best way to get alerted to events is to follow the Facebook page. While you are on the Facebook page, consider turning all notifications from the page in order to subscribe to events and get alerted on every single event. (Do this by hovering over the 'Like' button once you like it, and setting "ALL NOTIFICATIONS" to "All On.") Otherwise, event notices will show up on your news-feed occasionally, and display when you visit the page.

Caption Massachusetts is run by Evan Brunell, who organized a Batman v. Superman open-captioned showing in March. He has been active in the deaf community all his life and particularly over the past eight years, organizing events and leading seminars. Caption Massachusetts also draws upon the help of Larry Stephen, a deaf community member who also helps organize open-captioned showings for Marlborough and Westborough, MA through Facebook.

Caption Massachusetts is part of a wider initiative founded by Evan Brunell and Erik Nordlof, titled Deaf Access Council, focused on "including the deaf and hard of hearing in mainstream society by creating opportunities for equal access." Nordlof also runs DC Deaf Moviegoers, a similar initiative to Caption Massachusetts, which has over 700 followers on Facebook. DC Deaf Moviegoers provides multiple captioned showing of multiple movies per week in the DC area. Erik's work has led to similar initiatives in Rochester, Baltimore, St Louis, Kansas City, and more. DAC is in the process of launching and more information will be available at a later date.

Thank you, and have a great time at the movies!

Evan Brunell
Caption Massachusetts founder
Deaf Access Coalition co-founder
Community News:  Rapid WheelchaIr Repair 

MassHealth is exploring new ways to get wheelchairs repaired quickly.  A pilot wheelchair repair clinic is being planned for the central part of the state in the early fall.  MassHealth is interested in recruiting participants for this important project.  

Ideal participants would live in the Worcester or surrounding areas and either have their own transportation or a willingness to use PT-1 transportation to travel to a state assistive technology center.  In addition to wheelchair repair and cleaning, participants will have an opportunity to learn basic wheelchair Do-It-Yourself repair skills and have access to a wheelchair scale to get a current weight.  

Please sign up as an alternate participant if project spots are filled, as the project may be expanded if there is sufficient demand.

This project is a collaborative effort with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).  

Questions about the project can be directed to Jean Batty, MassHealth Disability Ombudsman, at 617-847-1256.

Jean Z. Batty, MPA
Disability Accommodation Ombudsman
100 Hancock St.
Quincy, MA  02171
Voice (617) 847-3468
Fax (617) 847-1272
TTY (617) 847-3788
Net News:  A Shooting

The New York Times had a fascinating story this week about a young man who was shot, became paralyzed and died a couple of months later.  What caught my interest in this story was the fact that he went from paralyzed to out on the street in only six weeks.  

So many of the old-time advocates who are paraplegics or quads will tell you that their recovery and rehabilitation took months.  They did not go home until a long while after their injury.  They will tell you it took months of peer support just to put their heads on straight.  

Now, we are seeing young people, particularly those of color, move from shot to home in mere weeks.  How can we condone this?  How do we fix this problem?  Here is the story.  I would love to hear your thoughts.
In This Issue
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
PayPal link
The DPC uses the PayPal PayFast system for your tax deductible charitable donations. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this system because credit card payments are also accepted.

Causes Logo
The DPC also uses the Causes program for recurring donations (as well as one time donations).  This is a great way to make a smaller monthly donation.
Donate by Mail
Make check or money order payable to:

Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
Join Our Mailing List

View our profile on LinkedIn

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter