April 4, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

 ,

Don't look out the window.  It's an illusion.  Just remind yourselves that it's opening day for the Red Sox, so spring must be close behind. Right?

We have a very busy calendar section this week.  We also have two news stories and an original piece in our Disability Culture section.  Keep those events and original writings to us at dpcmaupdate@gmail.com.

As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Calendar:  Disability Reframed: MIMI AND DONA

When:  Tuesday, April 5, 2016,   6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Where:  Cambridge Public Library, Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway, Cambridge
Pre-screening reception 6:00 pm-6:30 pm

There is no to RSVP - just show up!

Directed by Sophie Sartain
66 minutes, Documentary in English with Open Captions

For the past 64 years, 92-year-old Mimi has cared for her daughter Dona, who has an intellectual disability. For Mimi, aging means facing the reality that she will not outlive her daughter. This personal and touching film by Executive Producer Nancy Spielberg (Above and Beyond) spotlights the challenges confronting aging caregivers of those with disabilities and details the ripple effects of Dona's disability on three generations of a Texas family.

Discussion to follow with Director Sophie Sartain and Susan Pacheco, Executive Director, Cambridge Council on Aging.

Free Admission. No need to register or RSVP!

This is a scent-free event. Out of consideration for people with environmental illness and/or multiple chemical sensitivity, please refrain from using perfume or other scented products.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) has been requested. 

Check out all of the 2016 Film Series info at: www.reelboston.org. Disability Reframed: A Community Film Series is a collaboration of the Boston Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities and the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Hosted by the Cambridge Public Library.

Kate Thurman
Project Coordinator
Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD)
51 Inman Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
 
617-349-4692 (voice); 617-349-4766 (fax); 617-492-0235 (tty)
 
Calendar:  Bridgewater State Hospital: Keeping A Commitment to Much Needed Change

When: Thursday, April 7, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Where: Cambridge Public Library, Lecture Hall, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Doors open at 5:00 pm for light refreshments
Update on Current Status of BSH:  6:15 - 6:45 pm
Input from the Community: 6:45 - 8:15 pm

Presenters:
Stan Eichner, Director of Litigation, Disability Law Center
James Pingeon, Litigation Director, Prisoners' Legal Services

Moderator:  
Christine Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center

Facts:
* Bridgewater State Hospital (BSH), a medium security correctional facility, not only houses mentally ill prisoners convicted of crimes but also people awaiting trial and evaluation for mental illness and people housed there because of civil commitments.

* Massachusetts is one of only two states where mentally ill persons in the criminal justice system are not treated in a facility run by the Department of Mental Health.

* The Disability Law Center, NAMI, and Prisoners' Legal Services have made recommendations for major reform of BSH.

* WE WANT YOUR INPUT - 

Do you have a family member at BSH or one who has been there in the past? Have you been a patient at BSH? Are you concerned about the state of mental health treatment in the Department of Corrections? If so, we want to hear from you.

For more information contact Amanda at mail@dlc-ma.org or 617 723-8455 x 123.

** Please Note This Is A Scent Free Event **
This event is free and open to the public
Calendar:  ALDA Presents Service Dogs 

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016,  1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Where:  Cary Memorial Library (Large Meeting Room),
1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420

* NOTE: The Large Meeting Room is looped and CART provided

A presentation by:

Carl Richardson & Merrick, Carol Agate & Molly

We answer your questions such as:
What kind of training do they need?
How are they trained?
How do I get one?

Cary Library is located in Lexington Center where Bedford Street (Route 4-225) and Massachusetts Avenue meet at the Lexington Battle Green. There is metered parking behind the Library and along Mass. Ave.

The Library is accessible by ramps at the front of the building and from the rear parking area. See
www.carylibrary.org for specific driving instructions.

The Annual Board Meeting and Election of Officers will take place immediately following the presentation.

For questions or to RSVP, email Francine at: fstiegli@bu.edu.
Calendar:  Reel Abilities Film Screening at Perkins

When:    Monday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Where:   Grousbeck Center for Students & Technology,
Perkins School for the Blind,  55 Beechwood Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472

"For Once in My Life"
A documentary film directed by Jim Bigham,  90 minutes
in English with open captions and audio description.
Free admission. Wheelchair accessible.
 
About the film: The Spirit of Goodwill Band is a unique group of 28 singers and musicians from Goodwill Industries of South Florida. They are on a journey to show the world the greatness - and the killer soundtrack - within each of them. The  band members have a wide range of mental and physical disabilities, as well as musical abilities that extend into the realm of genius. Winner of the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival, "For Once in my Life" was chosen by PBS for the Independent Lens documentary series.
 
About the festival: The fifth annual ReelAbilities Film festival strives for inclusion of all people and is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different abilities from a variety of communities. This year's line up of 15 films will screen in various locations throughout Massachusetts. ReelAbilities is co-presented with the Boston Jewish Film Festival.
 
For festival tickets, updates, and additional information: www.reelboston.org call 617.244.9899 or email  info@reelboston.org
Calendar: REV UP! 
Register! Educate! Vote!

When:  Wednesday, April 27, 2016,  10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Where:  Suffolk University Law School,  Sergeant Hall Function Room, 1st floor, 120 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108

Join us for an Election Assistance Commission Public Meeting followed by a REV UP Strategy Meeting

2016 is a national election year. The goal of this meeting is the creation of a strategy on how to get people with disabilities registered to vote, educated on the candidates and issues, and to the polls on Election Day, November 8, 2016.

Register by April 20, 2016

Register Online, or contact Amanda if you have any questions.

mail@dlc-ma.org or 617-723-8455 x 123
Calendar :  MOD Andover Regional Disability Commission Meeting
  
When:  Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 11:00 A.M. - 1:45 P.M.

Where:  Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal Street, Room 206, Andover, MA

The Massachusetts Office on Disability will be holding a regional meeting for members of local Commissions on Disability and interested people hosted by the Andover Commission on Disability.

It will be an opportunity to hear from David D'Arcangelo, Director, Massachusetts Office on Disability.

Discussion will include the impact of the budget on people with disabilities and an update on what MOD has been doing throughout the state as well as other initiatives that involve the COD's. There will also be time allowed for a general discussion among commission members to network with one another.

This will provide an opportunity to share what your commission has accomplished in the past year as well as time to discuss any roadblocks you may be encountering. Light refreshments will be provided.

We hope you all can join us. Anyone who is interested in this Regional Commission meeting should contact me by April 21, 2016 at the above number. Please advise me no later than April 21, 2016 if you need an accommodation.

Please be aware of the following:
1. This meeting is open to all COD's and their membership; however, physical mailings only went out to COD's around the Andover region.

2. For other Regional Commission on Disability Meetings, please visit our website. There may be an upcoming meeting closer to your region.

3. Pre-Registration is required. Contact me if you are interested in attending this meeting by the dates listed above.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey L. Dougan
Assistant Director for Community Services

Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-7440
Fax: 617-727-0965
www.mass.gov/mod
Disability Culture:  A NORMAL Situation
 
B Remon Jourdan

As I moved my power wheelchair off the elevator, I was stopped in a roadblock of people going through their NORMAL daily routines. A man, blocking a young lady in her wheelchair being assisted by another young lady, began speaking to the young lady in the wheelchair and saying, "Look into my eyes... Look into my eyes... One day you will be NORMAL again."

After waiting the customary 30 seconds to see if the miracle was going to happen today, I began to voice my annoyance of being stopped in my NORMAL routine, especially since this was not the healing of the lepers' line one could perceive it to be. And as we continued on I heard the young lady's assistant say that her friend was NORMAL and for me that's where the miracle would be found.

When people begin to stop judging others through their own fears and begin to take the time to look beyond what they associate with an abnormality in order to change their definition of what is actually NORMAL. Because this young lady in her wheelchair seemed pretty NORMAL to me; she was different, like everybody else. She was simply living her life like everyone else, and bravely I might add.

She was not hiding her differences from the world or feeling sorry for herself. She was not asking for anything, but this man somehow still felt compelled to donate his definition of being NORMAL. And that's when I began to empathize thinking that if she did look into his eyes, she would see how blinded this individual truly was. But in hindsight she did not seem too annoyed by the whole experience.

And I began to realize that my frustrations, although warranted, would have been wasted in trying to argue all the reasons why this young lady was probably more NORMAL than the man she confronted coming off the elevator. I decided to do what I normally do in situations like this, which is to use it as a teaching moment and write about it in hopes to one day stop this from being a NORMAL situation.

Remon Jourdan is an IL Outreach Advocate with Multi-Cultural Independent Living Center of Boston, Inc.  He can be reached at rjourdan@milcb.org.  The opinions expressed here are his own.

Do you have an original piece about living with a disability or disability culture you want to share? Contact us at dpcmaupdate@gmail.com.
Net News:  Newton's First ADA Coordinator
 
Wicked Local had a story about the first ADA Coordinator in the history of Newton, Jini Fairley.  Jini is well known to us at the DPC having written the DPC report on the lack of accessibility at the Massachusetts State House, several years ago.  Jini continues to serve on the Board of DPC.  You can read the article here.
Net News: Poverty and Disability in America Matter
 
The Huffington Post had a fantastic article by Michael Morris, the Executive Director of the National Disability Institute.  You can read it here.
In This Issue
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