April 16, 2019
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


We hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.  

We begin this week with the results of our most recent YESHealth research on MassHealth and the transition to Accountable Care Organizations.

If you know people looking for work, there are three job opportunities at NILP in the Merrimack Valley. 

Speaking of work, we note, with amusement, that Associated Industries of Massachusetts has launched a diversity and inclusion initiative.  This is the same organization that does not want the Access Board to cover workplace accessibility.   I guess they are all for diversity, as long as you don't need accessibility.

We also bring news that transportation to Logan maybe about to get a little more inaccessible.  What interesting times we live in.
Until next week, happy reading. 

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC YESHealth Research:  MassHealth and ACO's  

 A link to the results from DPC's November 2018 YESHealth survey on consumer experience and understanding of the MassHealth ACO system is below. We first surveyed consumer experience and understanding of the ACO system in March 2018. This second survey shows that concerns about access to specialists remain, as does the need to educate consumers about ACOs and managed care. 

As DPC grows YESHealth, we are actively seeking to partner with organizations statewide to disseminate our surveys to members of the disability community.  As our funding expands, we will pursue partners with community based organizations in conducting focus groups, one-on-one interviews and defining our research priorities.

Contact Pili Kamenju at pkamenju@dpcma.org if you're interested in finding out more about YESHealth and partnering with us to grow this new way of doing outreach in the disability community and advocating for what matters most to our community.

Employment Opportunity:  Three Positions at NILP

The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. has amazing job opportunities available. If you are interested in possibly joining our team or know of someone who would be interested, please click on the button below to our career page.

Should you have any questions, please contact Jessica Cherry, NILP Human Resources Coordinator, at jcherry@nilp.org or 978-687-4288 ext. 176.

The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and encourages persons with disabilities, women, and persons of color to apply.
Net News:  Twenty Year Old Daniel Romanchuk, 20 Becomes Youngest Winner of Wheelchair Division, Boston Marathon.

According to Boston.com, "Daniel Romanchuk blazed to the finish line of the 2019 Boston Marathon on Monday, winning the men's wheelchair race.   His official time was 1:21:36, according to WBZ. With his victory, Romanchuk became the youngest push rim race winner in Boston Marathon history and the first US men's wheelchair champion since 1993, according to the BAA.  The article including five more facts about the young man that you can read here.  It is nice to see our athlete's being celebrated.
Community News: Could You Start By Letting Us Into the Workplace 
It was with wry amusement, or was it a whole heaping of snark, that two readers sent us this blog post by Associated Industries of Massachusetts.  In the post, AIM celebrates their launching of a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.  You may remember that AIM is fighting the AAB Bill because it extends the jurisdiction of the Architectural Access Board to include accessibility of employee areas.  Someone needs to inform this organization that if we cannot access employee areas we cannot work.  DUH!  It is interesting that the article does not mention disability once, in their discussion of diversity.  This would be hysterical if it were not so hypocritical.  
Net News:  Georgetown Sophomore Wants to Change How we View and Talk About Disabilities

This was an interesting article about a young woman with a form of muscular dystrophy from New Jersey who is a student at the D.C. based  Georgetown University.  She has already caused a stir, when she nearly lost her Medicaid for working a college internship during the summer, and battled to keep her PCA hours.  In the article, she also revives the emerging debate over people first language.  You can read more here.
Community News:  Board of Logan Airport Moving to Limit Uber./Lyft Pickup Spots at Logan  

This note is from Rick Morin, the Transportation Chair of the Bay State Council of the Blind.  The Board of Directors at Logan Airport is proposing to limit all pick-up and drop-offs by Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Companies to the Central Garage.  This would create an extreme hardship for people with limited mobility and visual impairments.  From Rick:

"Hi all,

The Board of Director's of Massport will next meet on April 25 and is expected to vote on the plans to revise ground transportation at Logan Airport at that meeting.

These meetings occur in East Boston at One Harborside Drive at 9:00 AM and include a public comment period.

We will keep you posted on the progress to engage with Massport on the impacts of moving all TNC pickup's and drop-off's to the Central Parking Garage.

You may want to keep April 25 open on your agendas.

Calendar:  Braille Exploration

When:  When: April 16, 18 and 19 2019, 10:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Location: TBA

For middle and high school students who are blind or low vision

Join Our Space Our Place, Inc. and add another tool to your Independence

Are you curious about Braille?

Have people told you that Braille is something you should learn?

Join this Braille Exploration program
  • Learn the alphabet
  • Learn the numbers
    • Learn Grade 1 Braille
    • Explore ways of using Braille in your everyday life
Taught by a certified TVI

Light breakfast and lunch provided.

To register:

Our Space Our Place, Inc.
Phone: (617) 459-4084
email president@ourspaceourplace.org
Calendar:  Webinar - Using an ABLE Account to Support Youth from Transition to Independent Living

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET

An ABLE account offers an opportunity for qualified individuals with disabilities to save for a better life experience without jeopardizing means-tested benefits. The savings in an ABLE account may be used, tax-free, for a variety of qualified disability expenses (QDE), many of which are transition-related and may improve individual outcomes.

The purpose of this webinar is to educate individuals with disabilities, their families, providers and advocates on how establishing and using an ABLE account can provide options and choices to improve the life trajectory of transition age youth. This webinar will address:
  • How is "transition age youth" defined?
  • How is "transition" defined?
  • How can an ABLE account help?
  • Best practices to consider.

The webinar will be moderated by Miranda Kennedy, Director, ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC). Panelists include:

  • Marlene Ulisky, Disability Benefits Expert, ANRC
  • Transition age ABLE account owners
  • Parents of ABLE account owners 

In order to prepare for the webinar, we recommend that you review the following:

Register for this webinar.

Please note: Real-time captioning will be provided for this webinar. For other accommodation requests, questions about the webinar, or the registration process, please contact us at info@ablenrc.org.

Calendar: Abuse at Fernald, the MetFern Cemetery Presented by Students From Gann Academy 

When:  Monday, April 29, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 P.M.

Where:  Price Center, 27 Christina Street, Newton Highlands   ( near the corners of Needham, Oak and Christina Streets, enter the building from the parking lot on Christina Street)

The Metro Regional Citizen's Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
invites the public to attend a presentation by students of Gann Academy, Waltham.

The Gann Academy 11th grade US History students have dedicated their year to learning about and teaching others about the community of people that lived in the Fernald School, the Met State Hospital and were buried in the MetFern Cemetery in Waltham. Our goal is to try to understand how institutions like the Fernald School could have been built and to think more clearly about how we can be a more inclusive society. 

We then are going to share our learnings with the broader community with new wayside markers at the MetFern Cemetery and with a book that commemorates and honors the lives of the people who are buried there.

We urge you to attend to learn how people with disabilities were abused and disrespected through the years and fortunately how current attitudes have changed to promoting independence and self-fulfillment and quality care for those who have disabilities. Hear how this group of students has changed the ultimate disrespect to several hundred individuals from two state institutions.

Come to honor these students and their accomplishments.

Please share this invitation with all individuals and groups whom you think might be interested.

More about the program can be found here.
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