August 5, 2019
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


This weekend two more tragic mass shootings occured in Texas and Ohio.  Once again, some of our national leaders blamed people who have been treated for mental health concerns.  We must join our brethren with disabilities and combat these lies.  They endanger the lives of people living with this disability, and block others from receiving the help they need.

The DPC was featured on Fox 25 this week in a story about Lime Bikes.  Have you come across dockless bikes, impeding your access?  Let us know.

We have two job postings, a training opportunity and multiple stories for you this week.

Until next week, happy reading. 

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial:  Don't Blame People with Mental Illness

[Editor's Note:  When two mass shootings occured this weekend, the usual trope of blaming people with mental illness was dragged out again.  This has to stop.  Those of us in the Disability Rights Movement must help defend our siblings with a history of mental health treatment from this baseless blame.

We have repeatedly boasted here that our staff at the DPC is filled with talented, passionate leaders, committed to social justice for all.  Leslie Diaz is one such member of our staff.  She shared this on her Facebook page yesterday.   It is published below.]

Hatred that leads to violence is not a mental health illness. It may be tempting to say "They're sick in the head," or "They're insane." Not only is that harmful to people with a mental health condition, it's an ignorant excuse that dissolves our individual responsibility to prevent these attacks from happening. Blaming it on mental health will never, ever solve the problem.

Hatred (of all kinds) is the symptom of an ingrained, LEARNED, belief-- that some of us are less human  than others, that some of us are scarier or more threatening than others, because of the color of our skin, because of our beliefs, because of our culture or because of the country we were born in.

We learn to hate from the people we grow up with, the friends we surround ourselves with, the books we read, the memes we like, the movies we watch, the jokes on the shows we laugh at, and from the leaders we have at the head of our nations.

When we don't speak out about this, we tell those who hold hatred in their hearts that they are right. That they are not only free to believe what they do, but act upon it as well. They think they're doing the world a favor. We keep letting them think they're right.

Leslie Diaz
DPC in the News:  Lime Bikes

Colin Killick and I were interviewed this week by Channel 25 Fox about dockless bikes, and specifically Lime Bike.  You can see the interview here.
Employment: Part-Time Development Assistant

DeNovo - Center for Justice and Healing

Position Summary

The Development Assistant provides a wide variety of writing and administrative assistance in support of the organization's development activities. This individual is a first line of communication and needs to be able to interact with aplomb with donors, volunteers, board members, senior management and colleagues at all levels.
The Development Assistant will report directly to the Development Director, work closely with the Executive Director, and collaborate with other staff as assigned. This position is ideal for a self-motivated, collaborative individual with excellent communication skills and 1-2 years post-college work experience, preferably in a development office of a nonprofit organization.
This is a part-time 21 hour per week position. Salary is commensurate with experience. Generous benefits package included.
  • Create dynamic and engaging copy for De Novo's website, blog and social media pages
  • Assist in the writing and editing of funding requests, such as letters of inquiry, concept papers and grant applications, in close partnership with the Development Director
  • Prepare detailed progress and final written reports to funders, including the gathering and submission of client data, board and staff lists, financial information and budgets
  • Manage production of the biannual newsletter, annual report and event materials (i.e. collect content, assist with layout/design, facilitate internal approval process and communicate with vendors)
  • Assist with gift entry and processing as needed
  • Assist the Development Director in maintaining accurate DonorPerfect database records
    • Assist on special projects as needed, including but not limited to, help to prepare key presentations, and support major events, such as the annual Volunteer Appreciation Event
  • Train, supervise and collaborate with administrative volunteers; identify ways to leverage volunteer support to achieve position goals
Employment: Part-time Policy Associate

The Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA) is excited to be hiring for a new member of our Policy and Field Team. We are seeking a part-time Policy Associate to be based in our Boston office. The ideal candidate is a proactive, detail-oriented person, driven to constantly learn new things, and to build and strengthen relationships with MPHA partners and coalition members.

For the full job description and application instructions, please click here.

MPHA is an equal opportunity employer committed to a workplace that reflects the diversity of the people of Massachusetts.!

Best, Andrea

Andrea Freeman
Field Director
Massachusetts Public Health Association
50 Federal Street, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110
(o) 857-263-7072 | (c) 978-895-0960
Pronouns she/her/hers
Educational: Webinar - Changes to Federal Nursing Home Regulations 

When: Thursday, August 8, 2019 1:00-2:15 p.m. PT/ 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. ET

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just released proposed changes to federal nursing home regulations. These changes are not meant to benefit consumers, but rather the stated purpose of these changes is to reduce the burden on providers. At the same time, CMS issued final regulations on nursing home arbitration agreements, which override federal regulations that had prohibited nursing homes from obtaining arbitration agreements at admission. An upcoming Consumer Voice webinar including Justice in Aging Directing Attorney, Eric Carlson, Changes to the 2016 Federal Nursing Home Regulations: What's Proposed, What's Final, & What to Do About It offers advocates information about what CMS is proposing, details the impact of the final regulations on arbitration, and provides action steps advocates can take to protect residents.

Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, Justice in Aging
Toby Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy
Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Consumer Voice
Lori Smetanka, Executive Director, Consumer Voice

Net News: Walmart and Announces Nationwide Rollout of Script Talk Service 

Walmart has officially announced the nationwide rollout of ScripTalk audible prescription labels as a free service for their low vision, blind and print impaired pharmacy customers. This expansion of services means all pharmacists and locations should now be aware of the service which will make requesting the service at any Walmart location a lot easier!!

No forms to fill out, no proof of vision loss necessary: just tell the pharmacist you have trouble reading your prescriptions and would like ScripTalk labels added.

Help Us Spread This Life-Saving News By:
  • Emailing the links to family, friends, organizations and service groups;
  • Posting to your social media pages and encouraging your friends to share;
  • Sharing the links with your local media, encouraging them to do an article;
  • Hashtag everyone and anyone who you think will benefit from this service; and
  • Hashtag us so we can follow and share your successes! #ScripTalk

Thank you to the American Council of the Blind for sharing this story.
Net News: Beyond Inspiration: A New Narrative

In this article in New Mobility, Emily Laudau does a great job of describing inspirational porn and outlining its attributes.  While I don't agree with all of the criticism of inspirational porn, I do believe this is one of the better think pieces about it.   You can read it here.
Net News: 

In This Issue
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