August 8, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


I begin The Update with a correction and an apology. After our issue last week, I received several phone calls applauding our decision to honor Lydia Brown at the DPC Awards Reception.  Lydia's fans admonished me for using the female pronoun in my announcement. Lydia prefers to be identified with the pronoun "they".  I humbly apologize.

This week's edition is filled with news from the net. We have a tour of the White House in ASL and a reminder to register to vote.  

We also present a link to information on the DOJ seeking opinions regarding the need for accessibility of government web sites.  Seems kind of important to me. What do you think?
Have a good week and a s always, happy  reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Net News: West Wing Tour in ASL 

As the People's House, the White House belongs to every American. To  mark the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the  White House made a video of a special tour of the West Wing in American 
Sign Language, with West Wing Receptionist Leah Katz-Hernandez:  (also open-captioned).

(Video description: West Wing Receptionist Leah Katz-Hernandez narrates  a tour of the West Wing in American Sign Language, visiting the West  Wing Lobby, the West Colonnade, the Rose Garden, the White House Press  Briefing Room, the Cabinet Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval  Office.)
Net News: Video Description and More Accessibility Comes to Olympic Coverage 

For the first time, NBC is offering video description on primetime Olympics coverage! Try testing your television set-up with audio description now to prepare for next week's coverage. For more information about how to set up your television, visit the American Council of the Blind Audio Description website at

The 2016 Olympic Games will run from August 5 to 21, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and will be the first time in Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games. Nearly 11,000 of the world's best athletes will compete in 42 sports and 306 medal events. More than 550 athletes will represent Team USA, including 292 women.

The slogan for Rio 2016 is "Viva sua paixão," which translated into English means "Live your passion." 

The Olympics will open at the famed Maracanã, which will also host soccer semifinals and finals late in the Games. 

Rio Olympics for Everyone

Comcast and NBC Universal will deliver the most comprehensive and technologically advanced Olympics in history for Rio 2016. For fans with sensory disabilities that also means the most accessible Olympics experience ever, including:
  • Live video description on NBC's Primetime show available across the country on your local NBC station wherever SAP (Secondary Audio Program) audio feeds are available. XFINITY customers can also enjoy the Rio Opening and Closing Ceremonies OnDemand with video description the day after they air.
  • Unprecedented closed captioned Olympics content including all linear television and all live events and replays on the NBC Sports app.
  • An XFINITY® X1 experience that enables you to explore Olympics content using accessibility features like Voice Guidance, the XFINITY Voice Remote and easy access to closed captioning and video description set-tings.

XFINITY® on the X1 Operating System has accessibility features built right in. We're bringing you innovations like the industry's first talking guide, video description, accessible mobile apps and the XFINITY Voice Remote. All designed to bring the magic of entertainment to everyone. If XFINITY is available in your area, visit to learn more, call the Comcast Accessibility Support Center for Customers with Disabilities at 855-270-0379 to get X1.
Net News: Let DOJ Know that Public Sector Web Access is Important

From lawyer Lainey Feingold comes this information.

The Department of Justice is collecting comments about the importance of web accessibility for people with disabilities across the country. The focus is on websites of state and local governments - from voting sites to emergency preparedness to public schools to everything in between. This post on my website explains when and how to file comments and offers suggestions of what to write about:

Comments are due on October 7. The more people the government hears from the better. The Americans with Disabilities Act already requires both public and private sector web access, but regulations are needed to raise awareness and stop the excuses. Hearing from disabled people and others concerned about digital accessibility will help make sure eventual regulations are as strong as they can be.

Digital access is a civil right. Let's tell the government it matters!


Lainey Feingold
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
Net News: Voter Registration Deadline

Reminder there are two election dates this fall.  We at the DPC want to remind you to register and vote! State Primary Election is  Thursday, September 8 . The last day to register to vote in the State Primary Election is  August 19

State and Presidential Election Day is  Tuesday, November 8 . The last day to register to vote in the State and Presidential Election is  Wednesday, October 19 .

If you need more information or want to check your status as a registered voter please go here.

As the godfather of the ADA Justin Dart used to say "Vote as if your life depended on it, because it does."
Calendar: Managed Care Lock-in 

When:  Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 10:00 A.M.

Where:  One Ashburton Place, Boston, 21st Floor Conference Room

In January, EOHHS announced plans to implement a Managed Care lock-in policy effective October 1, 2016.

This will restrict the ability of MassHealth members to freely change managed care plans to a 12 month cycle. This means a person will have a 90 day trial period, but after that time will be stuck in a plan for an entire year unless they meet exemption criteria!

We have learned from One Care that a very high percentage of people who are "passively" enrolled in a plan don't even know that they are enrolled until 90 after days or more.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wed. August 10 at 10 am in Boston. Written comments are also due by 5 pm August 10.

The public notice, proposed rules, current rules, & a link to sign up to testify are all posted at

Make sure you get the word out. We need a strong representation
Calendar:  Movie Premiere 

When:  Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 7:00 P.M.

Where:  Kendall Square Cinema, One Kendall Square at 355 Binney Street, Cambridge, MA

You are invited to a screening of HEALING VOICES, featuring a dialogue after the film with: 

PJ Moynihan (Writer/Director) 
Oryx Cohen (Subject/Co-Producer)
Chris Griffin (Executive Director of the Disability Law Center)
Officials from the Massachusetts Public Health Community and additional guests.

** This event is free and open to the public but space is limited. You must RSVP to attend this event **

RSVP and request accommodations by August 14, 2016

Register Online, or contact Amanda if you have any questions. or 617-723-8455 x 123

Communication Access Realtime Translation will be provided.

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

When:  Friday, August 19, 2016, 9:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. 

Where:  Hilton Garden Inn, 800 Hall of Fame Avenue, Sprinfield, MA 01105


Nancy Murphy, Staff Attorney, Disability Law Center
Walter Noons, Staff Attorney, Disability Law Center
Nathan Frommer, Staff Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services


Christine Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center

Registration: 9:30 am
Training on Fundamental Rights: 10:00 - 12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Input from the Community: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Join us for a training on the six fundamental rights and mental health laws in Massachusetts. This will be followed by a Community Feedback Forum.

We are looking for your input on the issues you face as a person or family member of a person with lived experiences of a mental health diagnosis.

Please Note:

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

This event is free and open to the public but you must RSVP to attend.

RSVP by August 12, 2016

Register here or contact Amanda at or 617-723-8455 x 123

In This Issue
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