March 5, 2018
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Hope you weathered the storm well.  

In the news this week we have a guest editorial about  assisted siocide and the Disability Law Center (DLC) has a new Executive Director.  

We have information on continuity of care from MassHealth  and we also some informative news articles for you.

Until next week,  good reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Guest Editorial: Ask Committee to Oppose Assisted Suicide

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health is planning a committee vote on Wednesday, March 7, on identical assisted suicide bills H 1194 and S 1225. There are quite a few undecided members of the committee, so there is no way to predict how the vote will go, but it will be very close.

After the mass medical society completely reversed course last December and dropped its opposition to assisted suicide, momentum shifted to the proponents.

The most effective thing that people can do is make phone calls to the six undecided members of the committee. Phone calls must be answered. Sample scripts below.

I understand that phone calls don't work for many people, so emails, Twitter, and Facebook can also be effective. I enclose some statements that can help you write something short. Just pick one or two topics please.

Please also come on Tuesday, March 6, when we will be visiting some of the targeted legislators' offices and making some noise! We are gathering between 11 AM and 11:30 AM in the fourth floor Statehouse cafeteria. You can also call or text my cell phone at 617-952-3302.

Here are the six members who most need contacting. No worries if you are not a constituent, this bill will affect everyone in the state.

Representative Chyna Tyler, (D) Roxbury /Fenway, Boston
Room 130
Phone: 617-722-2130. Ask to speak to legislative aide James Jackson
Twitter: @RepChynaTyler
NOTES: Undecided

Representative Ernesto Carvalho (D) Dorchester, Boston
room 466
Phone: 617-722-2017, Ask to speak to legislative aide Lucas DeBarros
NOTES: Undecided

Rep. Paul Schmid III (D) , parts of New Bedford and Fall River
Room 466 ,
617-722-2017, ask to speak to legislative aide Stephanie.
NOTES: Undecided

Sen. Paul Feeney (D), Foxboro, Medfield, Sharon
Room 507
617-722-1222, ask to speak to Chief of Staff Mike Gallant.
Twitter: @PaulFeeneyMA
NOTES: Undecided

Senate Chair Jason M. Lewis, (D) Winchester, Malden, Melrose
Also on Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities
Room 511B, Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1206. You can speak to Abby at the front desk, Chief Of Staff Zack Crowley, or legislative director Dennis Byrd.
Twitter: @SenJasonLewis
NOTES: Opposed Question 2 in 2012 and in recent years because of disability rights concerns, but may now be undecided

House Chair Kate Hogan, (D) Stow, Hudson,
Room 130, Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2130. Ask to speak to Madison Louis, the researcher on these bills
Twitter: @repkatehogan
NOTES: we think she supports assisted suicide,


"Hi, my name is <your name > and I live in <your town >. Please ask Representative (or Senator) < Name> to vote No on the assisted suicide bill."

If you have a personal story about misdiagnosis, being treated badly by medical professionals because of disability or racial/ethnic background, those are best, just keep it to one line.

Or, you can say a simple line like:

"Dr. misdiagnosis puts everyone at risk."

" Insurance companies take choice away by denying treatment."

" The bill puts people of color in danger because we/they already receive inferior care."

" The bill promotes suicide as an answer to personal problems."

" The bill puts disabled people like me in danger because of quality-of-life judgments"

" The bill treats depression as rational, but depression is treatable, suicide isn't."

" The bill promotes foul play because no official witness is required at the death."

If you do call or write, it would be great if you could let me know!

THANK you!

John Kelly
Not Dead Yet
New England Regional Director
Community News:  DLC Welcomes New Executive Director

The Disability Law Center, the protection and advocacy organization for Massachusetts, has announced the selection of Marlene Sallo, Esq., as its new executive director. Marlene will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Christine Griffin. The selection was made after a national search and selection process.

"We are very pleased to make this announcement and welcome Marlene to the Law Center," reported Joseph Ambash, Esq and Disability Law Center Board Chair. "Marlene will bring leadership and a breadth of legal and management experience to the Law Center with a deep sense of commitment to the disability community of Massachusetts.

Marlene Sallo has served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS), the Nation's "Peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from conflicts based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability. Prior to assuming this role, Ms. Sallo was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. While at the Commission, Ms. Sallo had the opportunity to direct several fact-finding public hearings and reports investigating civil rights violations based on gender, religion, national origin, or in the administration of justice. Ms. Sallo previously worked at UnidosUS, the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, where she developed issue awareness campaigns to educate UnidosUS affiliates, state and federal government officials, and the public on national and state level policies and initiatives that disparately and/or disproportionately impact Latino youth.

Ms. Sallo has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of disenfranchised and vulnerable children through her work as a special education teacher and attorney specializing in child welfare, juvenile justice, and special education law. As a zealous advocate for children, she has challenged policies and practices within public school systems that push minority students with disabilities out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Ms. Sallo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Manhattanville College and a Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University College of Law. Ms. Sallo is also the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Manhattanville College.

Ms. Sallo serves as the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Litigation, Children's Rights Litigation Committee and previously served as both a Commissioner with the ABA's Commission for Youth at Risk and as a member of the Florida Bar's Standing Committee on the Legal Needs of Children.

"I look forward to this opportunity to serve the disability community in Massachusetts and partner with the area's disability organizations as the new Executive Director of this well respected Law Center," remarks Marlene. "As a woman with a disability and lawyer who has worked on disability rights and civil rights for many years, I am eager to work with the Law Center's talented staff to provide the protection and advocacy this community deserves. The Disability Law Center plays a key role in improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts."

Marlene began her new role as Executive Director on March 1, 2018.
Net News: MassHealth Releases Memo and FAQ on Continuity of Care

MassHealth distributed a Continuity of Care Memo on February 21, 2018. As a follow-up to this memo, we are attaching a FAQ document that addresses some of the most common questions and concerns related to continuity of care. Please note, these FAQ pages will continue to be updated and refined.  They will be distributed more broadly to the provider community and posted to the MassHealth website, early next week. The original Continuity of Care Memo is also attached for reference. 
Net News: How Donald Trump Sparked a New Disability Rights Movement

Time magazine had an intriguing article this week about President Trump and activism in our community.  I am not sure if it is a new movement, or a re-invigoration of our movement. Either way it is good to see the media focus on our struggle for equality.  You can read the article here
Net News: MBTA's Disabled Customers switch to Uber, Lyft

The Boston Globe had a story about The RIDE and the trial program of using Uber and Lyft when a consumer chooses.  The program could offer lessons for other transit authorities.  The story can be found here.
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: 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.
Calendar: Our Space, Our Place

We have two upcoming workshops about which we would like to let you know:

1.       Be.You.tiful

Empowering Girls, Breaking Barriers and Building friendships.

Date:  April 17, 18  and 19

Location: The Nonprofit Center, 89 south Street, Boston MA.

A workshop for girls in middle and high school.

2.       Coding Camp

A workshop for students curious about coding.

Date:  July 9 - 13


In This Issue
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Malden, MA 02148
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