April 23, 2018
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

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We begin this issue with an important request.  Community activists, with visual impairments, are very concerned about funding for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.  Call your Rep. to support Amendment 291.

What is a Smartchair?  Here is your opportunity to find out.  Also, we catch up with our friend Lydia Brown and invite you to learn how to improve your own health.

We are still recruiting at the DPC for our new project. Check out our job openings.

Until next week,  as always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Community News: Action Needed on MCB Funding Amendment  

Dear Advocates, Members, Families, and Friends:
 
Thank you to those of you who have responded to our request to contact your state representative, state senator, and the Governor's office. We appreciate your efforts.
 
As background, you may recall that without additional funding, the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) will run out of money in 2019 and will be increasingly vulnerable to a possible move by the Baker administration to consolidate the agency with others, resulting in decreased and inferior services to blind consumers of all ages. The MCB Statutory Advisory Board appointed by the Governor adopted a resolution requesting that MCB funding be provided in the fy2018 budget. We have attached the resolution to this email if you would like to read it.
 
The request for $1.55 million was not included in the house budget that was published on Wednesday, April 11. Representatives Donato of Medford and Scibak of South Hadley have filed amendment 291 that would replace the amount $4,221,386 in the 4110-1000 account with the amount of $5,771,386.  This would balance the MCB budget this year. We need you to call or email your state representative and ask that he/she support the adoption of amendment 291. The house will vote on the passage of amendments during the week of April 23, so it is important that you make your outreach calls and emails right away. There will be hundreds of amendments competing for passage, so it is important that you let your representative know how important MCB services and restoring funding now is to you. Please ask your state representative or the staff person with whom you speak to support Amendment 291.
 
Remember, you can always find your state representative's contact information by going to
 
You can call the State House and ask for your representative's office at 617-722-2000.
 
To send an email, use the following protocol:
 
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at  kim.charlson@perkins.org or call me at 617- 501- 5853.
 
Kim Charlson
Perkins School for the Blind
MCB Statutory Advisory Board Member
Employment Opportunity:  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, We've Got Them!

Some weeks ago, I mentioned that the DPC would have positions available.  Today, I can officially announce that we have 18, yes 18, positions available.


All positions will be open until they are filled.

Candidates should send their cover letter and resume to  akalogeropoulos@dpcma.org.  Please put the  positions you are applying for in the subject line.

You can also mail your cover letter and resume to:

Amy Kalogeropoulos
Director of Operations
DPC
11 Dartmouth Street, Suite #301
Malden, MA  02148.

Again, please indicate the position for which you are applying.

People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
The DPC is a AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual preference or disability.
Net News: Meet the Smartchairs

We have had smart homes for a decade or more.  Smart cars are quickly arriving with features such as automatic braking, self-parking and lane control.  But one thing that has not changed much is the wheelchair.  Now thanks to the emergence of personal mobility devices, wheelchairs might be about to enter the 22nd century.  This according to an article in New Mobility magazine that you can read here.
Net News: Lydia Brown Fights On

You may remember that several years ago the DPC honored Lydia Brown, a first year law student at Northeastern University at our Annual Award Ceremony.  Well, they are still shaking things up.  Here is a great article on Lydia, in their final year of law school.  You can read the article here.
Public Comment:  Measuring Quality Healthcare for Dual Eligibles 

People who are on both Medicaid and Medicare are referred to as Dual Eligible. 

On behalf of CMS's Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Mathematica Policy Research is seeking public comment on the measure specification and justification for a quality measure currently under development. The measures are called: "Improving or Maintaining Physical Health in Younger Dual Eligible Adults" and "Improving or Maintaining Mental Health in Younger Dual Eligible Adults."

A memo listing questions on which we request public comment, as well as the measure information forms (MIF) and measure justification forms (MJF), are available in zip files in the Download section on this web page: https://go.cms.gov/2pEObTo.

The public comment period for these measures runs from 4/13/18 to 5/10/18. Please submit your comments by 5/10/18 to MedicaidQualMeasures@mathematica-mpr.com. You may also send any questions to this email address. We look forward to receiving your comments on these important measurement concepts.

We appreciate your help in spreading the word of this public comment solicitation by posting this notice in your organization's newsletters and communications. 

Thank you very much.

Henry Ireys
Senior Fellow and Project Director
Mathematica Policy Research
Community News:  DPH offering Better Choices, Better Health Online 

Do you have diabetes and a mobility limitation? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Healthy Living Center of Excellence is offering a no-cost online course, Better Choices, Better Health. This is a six-session, online course open to people around the country.  

The course includes 2 virtual, live group sessions on diabetes management for people with mobility limitations. You will receive personalized feedback and problem solving. Learn about healthy eating basics, how to make an action plan, and general lifestyle management tips.  

Choose a start date of either May 7th or May 14th. To register, contact Kimberley Warsett at Kimberley.Warsett@state.ma.us or call 617-624-5540. If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who requires accommodation, please contact Roberta Steele at 617-624-5960 (ph), 617-624-6062 (fax), or Roberta.Steele@state.ma.us by April 25, 2018.

Thanks,

Kimberley

Kimberley Warsett, MSW
Program Coordinator
Health and Disability Program (HDP)
Office of Health Equity (OHE)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)
Calendar: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents' Day at the State House

When:  Thursday, May 17, 2018, 10:00 A.M. - Noon

Where:   State House, Boston

Hosted by the Statewide Advisory Council

A gathering of Statewide Advisory Council members, community members, legislators, and state agency directors.

Special Award Presentation:

The Diane L. Nettles Outstanding Advocate: 
Dennis Heaphy
Outstanding Service Provider: 
Road to Deaf Interpreting
Outstanding Organization: 
Watertown Public Library
Outstanding Young Advocate:
Austin Henry

For more information and/or to request close vision/tactile interpreters: Ami.Hanigan@MassMail.State.MA.US
Deadline for communication access requests is: 3/19/18

Afternoon Legislative Visits:

Meet with your legislators to discuss community concerns and bills of interest. Schedule your visits in advance: find your legislators' names and contact information on the web at malegislature.gov

To request communication access: contact the ADA Coordinator at the State House by email at carl.richardson@state.ma.us or via phone at 857-400-5502. Requests are due by May 3rd.
Calendar:  Rev-Up Meeting

When:  May 18, 2018, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Where: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center,
Marlborough, Massachusetts 01752

Even without a presidential election, 2018 is an extremely important year for people with disabilities. Many (if not all) supports, services and civil rights have been under attack. While we have been protected in Massachusetts, voting has never been more important. Multiple studies have shown that people with disabilities are under-represented, and could make a difference in many contests if they showed up at the polls.

Lunch will be provided!

Register by May 11th at the link below.

Contact Amanda at mail@dlc-ma.org

or 617-723-8455 x 123 if you have any questions or need any type of accommodation

** Please Note This Is A Scent-Free Event **

CART and ASL Interpreters have been requested

More information and Register Online

Disability Law Center
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.

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 Thomas.hopkins@state.ma.us 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
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
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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.
 
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Make check or money order payable to:

Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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