December 4, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

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This week I have a follow up to my editorial last week on the things I am thankful for.  This time I tell you about the things of which I am not happy.  What can I say, you have to take the good with the bad.

I want to remind you that on December 8th, the One Care Implementation Council will hold listening sessions in four locations, statewide, at the same time.  Staff of the One Care Ombudsman Program will also be on hand at each session. Hope you can participate.

We also have a job posting for the Executive Director of the Multi-Cultural Independent Living Center of Boston.

As always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial:  The Things I Am Not Thankful For....

In this column, last week, I recounted to you the things  for which I was thankful.  Now it is time to flip the table and talk about the things for which I am less than appreciative.  Without any further ado, I am not thankful for......

First, how about the Tax bill that just was passed by the U.S. Senate?  Is there anyone who seriously thinks that corporations are over-taxed in the United States?  Our corporate listed tax rate of 39% is high, but corporations deduct many expenses before they calculate taxes.  As a result, the effective tax rate is low.  Corporate tax revenue is below 10% of federal revenue.  See http://bit.ly/2AqIInF.   You will notice that payroll taxes now make up more than 40% of federal tax revenue.

Now that they have given away money, Congress will rediscover the deficit.  That will call for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  See http://wapo.st/2jbNgqy.   We will be told these programs cost to much and are causing the deficit.  Bank on it.

A current next pet peeve is "security".  Entering a public building today is now becoming difficult without showing ID.  We blame it all on 9/11.  The latest is One Ashburton Place.  This building houses many state offices including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  You cannot enter the building without a government issued ID card.

Here is the problem.  Many hearings and public meetings are held in this building.  You should not have to show an ID to speak to government officials or to have your opinion heard.  A Massachusetts State ID cost $25 every five years.  Is this the new price to have a voice in government in the Commonwealth?  We don't require an ID to vote, we should not require one to be heard by government officials.  

I hope our Attorney General Maura Healy will investigate this issue.

Next, for people who require Medicaid Long Term Support Services (LTSS), it is as though  there are 50 different countries in the United States  because every state sets their own rules.  Even though we have the Olmstead ruling, there is no continuity.  There are already anecdotal stories of people moving from one state to another to get medical or support services for their children.  As Congress attacks and cuts Medicaid, this will become a larger problem.

One more.  It is downright embarrassing that we are the only state that "incarcerates" people who are addicted to drugs and want treatment.  There was some hope when efforts began to clean up Bridgewater State Prison.  

Yesterday, a Boston Globe story indicated that the Department of Corrections is up to its old tricks at the new facility in Plymouth.  See http://bit.ly/2jc9x7L  This is beyond embarrassing.  Governor, if you want to do something about addiction, move all drug treatment and mental health treatment under EOHHS.  We are not some backwater state when it comes to treatment of medical issues.  We are the leader when it comes to health care.  Let's act like it.

Lastly, while I am ranting about being the only state doing something wrong, can we finally ban aversives in Massachusetts?  There is another hearing this Tuesday on banning aversives.  If I shocked my dog I would be hauled off to prison.  If I shock a child with a disability it is called treatment?  This is beyond disgusting.

Well, I feel much better getting that off my chest.  So, what things are you not thankful for?

John Winske
Net News: Open Enrollment Periods 

The Affordable Care Act enrollment deadline is fast approaching, December 15, 2017.  To sign up online applications go to  HealthCare.gov

This is also the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.  You can learn more here.

The deadline for Medicare is December 7, 2017.
Net News:  MassHealth Announces Reforms to Strengthen and Improve Behavioral Health

MassHealth has released a PowerPoint presentation on their plan to strengthen behavioral healthcare for adults.  You can find the presentation here.
Net News:  New Law Cracks Down on HP Parking Abuse

According the WBZ News, a new law has been signed by Governor Baker which doubles the fine for parking illegally in a  handicap parking spot or misusing a parking placard.

Employment Opportunity:  Executive Director Multi-Cultural Independent Living Center of Boston  

JOB SUMMARY :
 
The Executive Director oversees strategic planning, operations, programming, administration, and financial management. Other responsibilities include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports to the Board of Directors.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:
  • Knowledge of & commitment to the Independent Living philosophy
  • Minimum of five years management experience with a non-profit organization
  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in business administration; Non-profit management, disability or related field preferred
  • Relevant experiences can partially substitute with not-for-profit management, community social work, geographical or equivalent experience
  • Knowledge or experience with financial controls, practices for State & Federally funded organizations
  • Effective written & oral communication skills
  • Ability to prepare plus manage grants; Cultivates & build donor relationships
  • Experience in initiating, planning, implementing & evaluating programs & services
  • Ability to represent organization's interests with Independent Living Centers, Government & other community-based organizations
  • Ability to address small & large groups
  • Able to relate to diverse groups; Understands existing Cultural Competency Standards
  • Ability & willingness to travel Statewide for meetings, forums, conferences, etc. 
BENEFITS PACKAGE :
  • Paid holidays, sick & vacation time
  • Competitive salary (negotiable based on experience)
Please email all resumes with cover letters to 
feleshiabyrdsong@gmail.com by 5 p.m. on  Friday, December 8, 2017 *

Please note the above posting has been consolidated for space purposes.  The full posting can be found here.
Calendar:  Hearing on Aversives Bill  
NEW DATE

When:  Tuesday, December 5, 2017,  1:00 P.M.

Where:  Massachusetts State House, Room B-1

The Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities will hold a hearing on H93 "An Act Regarding the Use of Aversive Therapy"

This is the aversives bill which would ban the inhumane use of aversives in the form of electric shocks to autistic and other developmentally disabled people.  We have been fighting this for over thirty years.  Many of you have shown up at the state house time and time again to fight this.  Unfortunately, we must do this once more.
 
To request reasonable accommodations email Carl Richardson, the ADA Coordinator at the state house, at least one business day (and preferably more) prior to the hearing, at   carl.richardson@state.ma.us.  Explain what bill you are testifying for and the reasonable acommodations you require.

If you cannot make it that day, please email  your testimony. All testimony should include your full name, address and contact information, as well as any degrees you hold, affiliations, etc.
Calendar:  MBTA Public Hearing

When:  Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 1:00 - 3:00 P.M.

Where:  10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA

Judge King will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the MBTA's progress towards complying with the MBTA/BCIL settlement agreement and recent improvements to accessibility. Please join us to share any feedback you have.

Click the following link for more details, including how to request an accommodation. https://www.mbta.com/events/2589

Hope to see you there,  Laura.

Laura Brelsford
Assistant General Manager, System-Wide Accessibility
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Ten Park Plaza, Suite 4470
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-222-1688
Fax: 617-222-4394
Calendar: One Care Implementation Council Listening Session

When:  Friday, December 8, 2017, 1:00 - 3:00 P.M.

Where:  Four Locations
  • UMass Center at One Beacon St. - 1 Beacon St., Boston
  • Health Policy Commission (HPC) - 50 Milk St., Boston
  • Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester
  • UMass Center at Springfield, 1500 Main St., Springfield  
"Are you a One Care member? (CCA - Commonwealth Care Alliance or Tufts Health Unify)?

If so, we'd like to hear from you on December 8th in Boston, Worcester or Springfield

What is working for you? What is not?

Snacks and giveaways and a chance to meet others in One Care

WHAT is it?
A chance to tell the One Care Implementation Council (IC) about your experience in One Care. The IC provides support and input to the One Care program and includes One Care enrollees.

WHO is invited?
One Care members, guardians or family members.

WHY is this happening?
We want to hear how One Care is going for you.

WHERE is it and HOW do I attend?

1. You must register - Register here or paste this address in your browser https://form.jotform.com/73065627838163

2. Please choose which location you want to attend. Each location has a limited number of seats so please register early!
Calendar: Audio Described Performance of the Nutcraker 

When:  Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 7:30 P.M.

Where:  Boston Opera House,  539 Washington Street, Boston, MA, USA | 02111

Tickets are $35.  Please mention the All-Access Performance when you call the Box Office at 617 695-6955.

The Boston Ballet is performing one of the greatest ballets of all time, an American holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, live to jam packed audiences.

This spectacular production of The Nutcracker is easily the greatest and best known ballet in America. Introduced many years ago by George Balanchine, this ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is a phenomenal ballet that features an excellent combination of dance, music and choreography resulting in a must see performance this holiday season for both adults and children.
In This Issue
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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