February 12, 2018
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Time to rally the troops! H620 will likely come to a vote this week in the House.   It would largely gut public accommodations under the ADA.  Call your representative.

There is another attack coming on Medicaid.

We have Two volunteer opportunities and some openings at the MBTA.    

Until next week,  good reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Action Alert: H620 Will Come to the Floor This Week

Recent word out of Washington D.C. is that H620 will be voted on this week.  This bill would severely limit the ADA.  The following alert is from the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation that will curtail the ability for people with disabilities to seek legal action when they encounter violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ACB urges its members and allies to call their congressional representative and tell the member of House to vote "NO" on H.R. 620, the ADA Education & Reform Act.

This legislation has received bipartisan support by Members of Congress who have been lobbied heavily by shopping center, restaurant, and hotel associations, with absolutely no input from consumer disability rights organizations like ACB. The result is legislation that makes it more difficult to resolve accessibility issues around physical access to public places protected under the ADA. As businesses continue to put up more barriers like inaccessible kiosks and fail to meet other ADA standards, it is important for every individual with a disability to let his or her elected official know that a few bad apples should not dismantle the ADA.

You can reach your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Below are some talking points being circulated that can assist you in your outreach:

· HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities

· It will make people with disabilities wait for up to 180 days for services that other people have immediate access to

· The wait may be even longer than 180 days because a business that is making "substantial progress" toward fixing a problem can take even longer than 180 days

· HR 620 will eliminate the need for businesses to be accessible until a complaint is received; there will be no need to make a business accessible until someone complains; that will mean many groups building new buildings, renovating buildings, opening new businesses will not make their services accessible

· HR 620 shifts the burden of accessibility from those who offer services to the person with a disability; no other group needs to prove their right to access to publicly offered services

· We should not be gutting the rights of people with disabilities; if there is a problem, we should be limiting the actions of a small number of lawyers who are bad actors

· HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities; would we ever think about eliminating the rights of any other group of Americans? This is disgraceful.

To learn more, visit the legislation's congressional webpage at:
Net News: Second Arbour Facility to Close

According to the Boston Globe, Arbour Health Systems announced the closing of Lowell Treatment Center this week.  In August, DMH closed Westwood Lodge because of "critical safety issues".  Arbour apparently decided to close the Lowell facility after Mass Behavioral Health Partnership refused to send them more victims, er, ah, patients, I mean..... 

Net News: Fur and Fury at 40,000 Feet

The Washington Post this week had an article about recent decisions by Delta and United Airlines to limit emotional support animals.  What is most interesting is the article has some information about the negotiating group that met last year to develop better rules around airline services and people with disabilities.  You can read more here
Net News: Another Day, Another Stealth Attack on Medicaid

This article is also from the Washington Post.   Officials in several states are now asking for permission to set lifetime caps on Medicaid recipients.  The rules would cap the number of years "someone without a disability" could be on Medicaid.  

As your read the last sentence realize that Medicaid is referring to the Social Security Administration's definition of disability.  We know that many people with disabilities do not meet their narrow definition.   They are members of our community and will have their medical insurance capped or iliminated.

People on Medicaid are poor.  We know poverty and dis ability are directly linked.  Make no mistake, this is an assault on our community.  

There are many more people who do in fact need Medicaid because of pre-existing conditions and poverty who will not have their needs met by private insurance.

This is especially true for people who need Long Term Support Services.  You can read the article here.  
Volunteer Opportunity: Test Accessibility of Voting Process at Perkins

The Perkins School for the Blind will be testing voting tools to determine the level of accessibility and to provide feedback in regards to the user experience. To help with this endeavor, Perkins is looking for individuals who could participate in the roles of poll work or tester.

Perkins will be creating the environment of a "mock election" and going through the voting process as if it were a real election.

This project will take place on the Perkins Campus in Watertown, MA, probably the last week of March or the first week of April.

If you are interested, and/or have questions, please contact Akira Fujita, Accessibility Consultant, at akira.fujita@perkins.org or (617) 972-7804.

As accessibility remains a major barrier to voting for people with disabilities, we strongly encourage you to consider getting involved in this effort!


Local town and city elections will be held this spring. Get educated and vote!

Who is REV UP?

Rev Up, Massachusetts is part of the National Campaign to make the disability vote count. We are a partnership of many Massachusetts disability organizations. REV UP MA will offer information and resources on registering, voting issues, and access to polling places. We will educate voters on local issues and candidate forums, and on other mechanisms for learning more about their choices.

Our goal is to give the disability community a greater voice with increased engagement and increased political power.

To learn more about REV UP Massachusetts, visit our website at www.revupma.org.

Revup MA/Disability Law Center MA
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston MA 02108 
Volunteer Opportunity: NDRN Seeks Participants for Four Focus Groups on Federal Disability Rights Enforcement

National Disability Rights Network   (NDRN) is conducting a study for the National Council on Disability about the enforcement of federal disability rights laws and we need the viewpoint of people with disabilities. NDRN will conduct four focus discussion groups, two in February and two in March, for up to 12 - 14 participants.

David Hutt
(202) 408-9514 x. 129
(202) 870-2781 (cell)
(202) 408-9521 (TTY)
Employment Opportunities: MBTA

JOB #: 17-16656
OPENING DATE: 02/06/18
CLOSING DATE: 02/20/18 11:59 PM
SALARY: $63,728.00 - $79,253.00 Annually
DEPT: System-wide Accessibility
SAFETY SENSITIVE: This is not a Safety Sensitive Position.
ESSENTIAL CLASSIFICATION: This is a non-essential classification.


The MBTA is seeking a Senior Program Coordinator to oversee part-time monitors who will ride the MBTA fixed-route services (Bus, Subways, Commuter Rail and Commuter Boat) to determine MBTA coimpliance with MBTA/BCIL Settlement Agreement, the service
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and MBTA policies.

  • Screen, train and oversee 15 to 20 part-time monitors who will ride MBTA fixed route services (bus, light rail, heavy rail, bus/rapid transit, commuter rail, commuter boat) to determine MBTA compliance with the terms of the MBTA/BCIL Settlement Agreement, the service requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and MBTA policies and procedures.
  • Develop, assign, distribute and confirm completion of weekly assigned schedules.
  • Prepare the monitor payroll, and assess monitor performance.
  • Perform data input and analysis
  • Prepare for quarterly reports for the FTA, customer stakeholders and MBTA.
  • Actively participate in meetings concerning accessibility issues.
  • Assist in the development of policies and training for MBTA employees.
  • Establish contacts within the MBTA as well as within the community to ensure that key stakeholders are involved in accessibility issues and their resolution.
  • Create and maintain contact and dialogue with other transit agencies to keep abreast of new products/techniques or best industry practices.
  • Participate in accessibility audits at MBTA stations, facilities and transportation vehicles to ensure compliance with all applicable guidelines, codes, etc.
  • Monitor and analyze accessibility-related customer complaints.
  • Respond to each inquiry, whether from a customer, vendor or co-worker in a courteous and professional manner consistent with the Authority's Customer Service quality standard.
  • Uphold the rights and interests of the Authority while building and maintaining an effective relationship with employees.
  • Assist in the management of a workforce by ensuring the fair and consistent application and strict adherence to the rules, regulations, collective bargaining agreement (if applicable) and policies of the Authority including the EEO, Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment and Anti-Retaliation policies.
  • Perform related duties and projects as assigned.

The MBTA is also seeking monitors to ride the system.  This position is part-time and pays $15 per hour.  That job posting can be found here
Calendar:  The Humans (ASL Interpreted & Open Captioned Performance) 

When:  Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:30 P.M.

Where:  Shubert Theater, Bostom

Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed, with humor and compassion, in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award® for Best Play.

Purchase tickets today for the ASL Interpreted / Open Captioned performance of The Humans on 3/20/18. All seats are located in the Orchestra (floor level) and are in direct sight line of the ASL Interpreter. All tickets are $46.50.

In This Issue
DPC Needs your Help!!! 
PayPal link
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.
Donate by Mail
Make check or money order payable to:

Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
Join Our Mailing List

View our profile on LinkedIn

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter