August 19, 2019
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Can you believe it?  The final two weeks of August are here already.  I don't know about you but I feel like summer just got here.  By the way if you have M.S. or other disability impacted by hot weather please stay cool this week.

We are looking for people to participate in a study we are doing on opioids and people with disabilities with Brandeis.  Please help spread the word.

In the news, apparently "making America great again" means restarting the institutionalization of people with mental health disabilities according to our President.  

Until next week, happy reading. 

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC/YesHealth Research: Participants Needed for National Opioid Project

DPC is collaborating with researchers at Brandeis University on opioid use in the disability community. We are currently recruiting for our first focus group to be held in Boston MA on 8/22/2019. We are looking for people with disabilities who have lived experience with opioid misuse or have an opioid abuse disorder.

Focus group participants will receive a $25 gift card and lunch/refreshments will be served at the focus group. Anyone interested in participating in the focus group can contact Pili at 617-307-7374 or email her at

For more information, a flyer for the project is here.
Net News:  Trump Proposes Increasing "Mental Institutions"

"Mental illness is something nobody wants to talk about," Trump said, responding to a question about gun control. "These people are mentally ill, and nobody talks about that. ... I think we have to start building institutions again because, you know, if you look at the '60s and '70s, so many of these institutions were closed."

- President Donald Trump
August 15, 2019

According to several news outlets on Thursday, President Trump proposed the idea of building more institutions for people with mental health disabilities.  We know that these institutions were a failed public policy and literally abused and killed far too many of our brothers, sisters and siblings.  I was planning to write an editorial then came across this very well written editorial by David M. Perry at  Entitled "In Trump's world, it's easier to regulate the bodies of disabled people than to limit deadly weapons."  I think it encapsulates most of what needs to be said.  You can read it here.
Volunteers Needed:  Museum of Science Exhibit   

The Museum of Science is looking for blind and low vision volunteers, ages 5 and up, to test prototypes of two computer science activities that teach basic computer coding skills.

The testing will be scheduled around August 27 or 28. We are flexible. If those dates don't work for you, call and we will see what we can arrange!

To set up a time to try the activities and give your input, please contact Katie Todd at 617-589-4235 or

Thank you!

Nora Nagle
ADA and 504 Accessibility Coordinator
Museum of Science
One Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
M, Tu, Th, Fr 9-2:30
Community News: Key Takeaways on the Final Immigration "Public Charge"   

Last week the final regulations were released which change the "public charge" test for immigration candidates in the United States.  The new rules will make it much harder for someone with a disability or their family to move to our country.  Here is a good briefing prepared by Justice in Aging.  We realize the document is in PDF format, and may have accessibility limitations.
Community News:  Medication Safety for the Blind  

October is Medication Safety Awareness for the Blind Month (MSAB) and it's a great time to let your community know more about accessible prescription labels for the visually impaired, print impaired and seniors, such as talking, large print and Braille prescription labels!   To get more information please go here.
Net News:  Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks to Allow Consumers to Appeal Medicare Denials

Currently, Medicare does not cover "observation care" in the hospital.  According to Kaiser Health News, patients " receive observation care in the hospital when their doctors think they are too sick to go home but not sick enough to be admitted. They stay overnight or longer, usually in regular hospital rooms, getting some of the same services and treatment (often for the same problems) as an admitted patient - intravenous fluids, medications and other treatment, diagnostic tests and round-the-clock care they can get only in a hospital."

Under Medicare rules, these services are considered outpatient services, such as labs, so patients must pay for a higher percentage of the cost out of pocket.  The kicker is there are no appeal.

Net News:  Diet Coke's "Unlabel" Campaign Features People with Physical and Mental Health Disabilities

According to The Mighty, a new advertising campaign from Diet Coke features people with disabilities, LGBTQ community members and people of color.  You can read more here.
Net News: Tate Modern Museum Says Installation Cannot Be Made Safely Accessible

The Tate Modern has an exhibition  Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life.  Wheelchair users attending the museum found out the exhibition was not accessible to them.  The Museum pointed out that given the work is "old from 2002" they could not be "safely accommodated."  You can read more here.
In This Issue
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Malden, MA 02148
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