September 26, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

PCA Rally 092116
DPC Staff member Charlie Carr looking at the crowd at the PCA rally


It looks like Red Sox are going to give us an interesting October!

First, a correction.  In my editorial last week, I stated that the founders of BCIL lived in the basement of the School of Theology at Boston University.  In fact, at least three sharp readers contacted me to let me know they lived on the fifth floor.  So I was off by 50 feet.

More than 300 of us gathered for our rally at the Statehouse last Tuesday and it was fantastic.  Thank you to all of you who joined us in voicing our concerns.

This week we have more information on our Fourth Annual Reception and Award Ceremony.  
We have information on FCC testing of a new emergency alert system and how you can help.  As usual, we also have our busy calendar section.
Have a good week and a s always, happy  reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC Update: DPC Fourth Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony

Plans are progressing nicely for the DPC Fourth Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony to be held on Thursday, October 13th.  This year the event will be held at the NonProfit Center, 89 South Street in Boston (near South Station).  I am pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale here.  We hope you will be joining us for what promises to be a fun event.  

We are on the lookout for people who were there at the beginning of the DPC.  This is your 20th anniversary. Join us, again.

We want to give a big shout out of thanks to our Power Broker and Deal Maker level sponsors.

Our Power Brokers are:

Boston Center for Independent Living

Disability Law Center

DRS Consulting

Easter Seals of Massachusetts

Health Management Associates

Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann


Our Deal Makers are:
Vicker DiGravio
MetroWest Center for Independent Living
Michael Muehe 

As always, we want to acknowledge our top level sponsors Commonwealth Care Alliance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the Association for Behavioral Healthcare.  

Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors, we have scholarships available for members who may need one. This is especially true forth those of you who were there when it all began.

If you have any questions please contact Liz Hardy at or 617 680-2599.

See you on the 13th.
Employment Opportunity: Paralegal Job Opening at Prison Legal Services

Prisoners' Legal Services (PLS) is seeking an outstanding paralegal advocate committed to protecting the civil rights of indigent Massachusetts prisoners.

We encourage applicants interested in providing prisoners recourse for a wide variety of serious prison concerns including access to competent medical and mental health treatment, assignment to segregation, and other unlawful or inhumane conditions of confinement. The paralegal plays a critical role as a key member of PLS' staff with duties including litigation support, communication with prisoner clients, their families and prison officials, medical and mental health providers.

Additional Qualifications

The paralegal advocate will have a wide range of responsibilities including:
  • Litigation support for high impact PLS lawsuits
  • Frequent contact with prisoner clients through prison visits, telephone, and letter (Spanish speakers are strongly encouraged to apply);
  • Advocacy for clients through communication with Department of Correction officials, sheriffs' departments, court officials, and civil rights and criminal defense attorneys;
Other qualifications:
  • Travel to Massachusetts prisons and jails is required. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and access to a car.
  • Ability to speak and write in Spanish preferred but not required.
  • Former prisoners, bi-cultural, bilingual candidates, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Bachelor's degree, prior paralegal experience and/or paralegal certification preferred but not required.
PLS provides a comprehensive benefits package, including family medical and dental coverage. Flex time or other alternative arrangements considered. PLS  is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply:

Applications are accepted through October 3, 2016. Please mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references to:

Prisoners' Legal Services
Attn: Linda Rydzewski
10 Winthrop Square
Boston, MA 02110 
Advocacy Opportunity: FCC To Test Emergency Alert System

When the FCC last conducted a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System in 2011, it determined that the system fell well short of meeting the needs of Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, blind, or low-vision.

In the intervening time, the FCC has implemented a new set of technical rules intended to ensure that all Americans receive the information they need to seek shelter and safety in the face of an imminent emergency, such as a tornado. In order to assess the implementation of these improvements, the FCC and FEMA will conduct a new test over television and radio on September 28 at 2:20 pm ET.

However, the FCC cannot, by itself, effectively assess the nationwide implementation of the test for all Americans who are blind or have low vision. Thus, the FCC wants to hear from you about your experience with the test. They are putting together a simple form on their website that will ask for your contact information (to determine geographical region), the source to which you were listening (broadcast TV, cable, radio, satellite), any complications you may have experienced, and specific feedback on your experience.

The FCC particularly hopes to learn whether the audio is clear, distinct, and informative. The FCC also needs to know whether the text crawl is broadcast with sufficient contrast, whether the text is large enough to see, and whether the crawl moves at an effective and understandable speed for viewers with low vision. For those with both usable vision and hearing, the FCC is further interested in whether the text and audio have parity. The FCC also wants to know whether Spanish-language channels broadcast a Spanish-language alert.

For a day or two after the test on September 28, you can provide your feedback on the Public Safety Support Center website.
Net News: Why is Baker Cutting OT for Personal Care Attendants

The Boston Globe columnist, Joan Vennochi, wrote a very good piece about the overtime issues for pcas on Wednesday.  The article did a great job of summarizing the issues.  You can read the column here
Net News:  Uber Improves Access in Philly had an interesting article on wheelchair accessible Uber service in Philadelphia. Particularly interesting is their method of inducing drivers to use accessible vehicles.  This one of several methods they are using around the country.  I for one cannot wait to ride my first Uber trip in Boston.   Here is a link to the article
Calendar: Getting Involved in Local Government 

When: Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.

Where: Boston City Hall, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02201

Are you registered to vote? 
Do you know who your City Councilor is?

Come Join Us and Find Out!
  • Welcome by Mayor Walsh & City Officials
  • See ADA Accessibility Upgrades in City Hall
  • Find your City Councilor & Polling Place
  • Register to Vote & Learn About Early Voting
  • See Accessibility Features & try the Automark
Wheelchair Accessible * ASL *  CART *  Scent Free

For other accommodation requests, contact us
By September 14th at
or call 617-635-3682 / 617-635-2541 TTY

For more information, visit

Hosted by:

Mayor Martin J. Walsh 

Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities 

Boston Elections Department

Calendar: Fire Emergency Evacuation for People with Disabilities

When:   Friday, October 14, 2016
Where:  Cambridge Public Library, Lecture Hall,
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

The ADA has been in effect for more than 26 years, but emergency evacuation plans for people with physical disabilities have changed little. Join us for a discussion on current strategies for evacuation of individuals with disabilities in fire emergencies and new concepts that can be implemented.

Opening Remarks

Brian Gover, Deputy Fire Chief, City of Cambridge
Christine Griffin, Disability Law Center
Michael Muehe, Cambridge Commission For Persons With Disabilities


Donald P. Bliss, Vice President Of Field Operations,
National Fire Protection Association
J. William Degnan, New Hampshire State Fire Marshall/Director
Wayne D. Moore, Fire/Life Safety Columnist & Freelance Writer

10:00 am - 10:15 am
Opening Remarks

10:15 am - 12:00 pm
Addressing Barriers Associated With Fire Life Safety Notification
J. William Degnan & Wayne D. Moore

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Light Lunch Provided

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Evacuation Strategies
Donald P. Bliss

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Open Discussion

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

CART will be provided

RSVP and request accommodations by October 7, 2016

Fill out form at

or contact Amanda at or 617-723-8455 x 123.
Calendar: Our Space, Our Place Schedule

With the beginning of school comes the start of the Our Space Our Place after school and career exploration program for middle and high school students who are blind. Below are important dates.

Saturday October 1 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Sign up for the Coding Camp- Create your own website, meet professionals in the tech field.

We will meet the first Saturday of each month from October - March. Lunch is provided.

Friday, October 7, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston
Exploring career options and Creating your career map

Students in high school and college, adults with disabilities who are entering or re-entering the work force, are invited to participate in this career exploration workshop:  Meet and talk with individuals who work in the private and public sector.

Lunch provided

Free admissions to the Museum of Science Exhibit Halls from 2:00-5:00 PM after the workshop.
Please let us know if you need any accommodation by September 30, 2016.

To register for World of Careers please contact Lisa Monaci or 617 589-0418. Please let her know your name, school or agency, if you are a student, coach, and parent, adult. Your zip code, telephone # or email.

For more information or any questions you may have, contact: or

Saturday October 8, 10:00 AM - Noon

Have fun writing and reading. Join us every second Saturday of the month. Write a song, haiku, poetry, a play, express your opinion, and share your ideas on an issue important to you. Working on a piece of writing for school and want a little help? Join us every second Saturday of the month from October - June.

To register and to ask about transportation call:

Phone: (617) 459-4084
In This Issue
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
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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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