August 15, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Hope you are doing well and surviving this warm spell. 

In our DPC Update this week we have a little bit of news on the PCA Overtime issue.  We also announce that we are the lead sponsor of an exciting conference this November.  

We want to alert you to a time change on the movie premiere of "Healing Voices" playing this week.

We also have several news stories for you including news that it now appears Uber, Lyft and others will be required to provide accessible services for all in Massachusetts.
Have a good week and a s always, happy  reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC News:  Updates

Last week, we received several emails asking why we had no update on the PCA Overtime issue.  The simple answer, there were no new updates.  

But this week there are.

PCA users started receiving official notices this week.  If you need a PCA to work more than forty hours a week, you should contact your PCA Management Agency, ASAP, to request a waiver.  We are told that all requests this time around are going to be approved for two months.  Let us know what your experience is. We suspect the agencies are going to be swamped as they try to complete an impossible task imposed by the state.

We are continuing our efforts to get this ill-advised policy reversed.  Please call the Governor's Office at 617-725-4005.  Ask for this regulation, eliminating most PCA overtime, to be rescinded.

We also have some good news for you.  On Saturday, November 5th, there will be the first conference in New England on Disability and Intersectionality.  I am pleased to announce that the DPC will be the lead sponsor of the conference.

The planning committee announced this week that Heather Watkins will be a keynote speaker at the Conference.  

Heather will lead us in her own narrative and lived experiences of being a black disabled woman with   "Heather Watkins: "Have Cane Will Strut to The New Normalcy of Disability Activism".  Heather's own experiences, of going from embarrassment to encompassing The New Normalcy of her disability to disability activism, will serve as the opening remarks of the inaugural Disability & Intersectionality Summit. 

Heather is a writer, disability advocate, mother, graduate of Emerson College, and resident of Boston, MA.  She serves on the Board of Directors at the Disability Policy Consortium, and is a fierce voice among her Boston neighbors. Find more of her writings at:  
Follow Heather on twitter: @hwatkins927."

We will keep you posted on this exciting event.
Net News: New Law Says Uber, Lyft Must Be Accessible to All in Massachusetts

Thursday, the Boston Globe reported on a new law, passed two weeks ago, regulating transportation network companies (TNC's).  The article noted that the legislature tasked the Department of Public Utilities with developing specific regulations.  The law calls for the establishment of a task force.  Christine Griffin, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center, will serve on this task force.  You can read the article here.
Net News: Eligible Voters with Disabilities Outnumber Black, Latino Voters

On Friday, USA Today reported that a new study by Lisa Schur and Douglas Kruse, of Rutgers University, which projects that more than 35.4 million eligible voters with disabilities will participate in this years election.  If these numbers are correct the disability vote will exceed voters who are African American or Latino.  You can find the article here
Net News: DOJ Finally Publish Final Rules for ADAAA

Eight years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2008, the Department of Justice has published its regulations. You can read all 153 pages here.
Net News: ADA Under Attack...Again 

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) sent out a notice this week on H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 with this warning, "H.R. 3765 would, in effect, eliminate businesses' responsibility to address the ADA accessibility requirements.  This bill would treat people with disabilities as second-class citizens."

The bill would require someone who encountered barriers to notify business owners in writing if they violate the ADA.  The owner would then have 60 days to respond and then an additional 120 days to fix the problem.

Please contact your Representative to oppose the bill.

Calendar:  Movie Premiere 

When:  Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 6 :00 P.M. (doors open) 6:30 P.M. (screening)

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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