February 6, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


As I write this our Patriots are being routed.  UGLY.  

That is what I originally had to be the opening of this newsletter.  Now the game is over and I am speechless. Enjoy.  Go Pats.
On the good news side, our DHAAR forum on the ACA was a smashing success.  More than one hundred advocates gathered to plan our strategies for protecting our health care.  We have links to the materials used in the presentations.  We also have steps that you can take to join the fight.  We need you.  Take action.

We have news on an upcoming departure from our staff. We also have several great stories for you from around the World Wide Web .
As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC Update:  Staff Change  

We are sad to report that Kimberly Warsett will be leaving DPC on February 28th. Kimberly's work at DPC was tied to a grant that will run out at the end of this month.
DPC is grateful to Kimberly for her many contributions to DPC. We are especially grateful to Kimberly for the voice she brought to the DPC in our work with people with lived experience of a psychiatric diagnosis. She has brought this voice to policy recommendations put forward by DPC and to her work on YESHealth and the larger PCORI (Patient Centered Outcome Research Initiative) project she was a part of during her tenure.
DPC remains committed to Community-Based Participatory Action Research and preserving the voice of the recovery community in our work.  More information will be made available about next steps with YESHealth and other research initiatives in the coming months.
In the meantime, Kimberly will be missed and we wish her best as she moves on to new opportunities.

John Winske 
DAAHR Update:  Join the Fight   

Over 100 people were at the DAAHR gathering this past Wednesday.  The focus of the training  was saving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and preventing drastic cuts to Medicaid by Congress.

Attendees heard from Charlie Carr, of the Disability Policy Consortium and Renee Marcus Hodin, of Community Catalyst.  You can find their presentation below in three formats:


Below are DAAHR's action steps that are in full gear to save the ACA and Medicaid.   Please join the effort! 
For more information, contact Lenny Somervall or Maggie Sheets or call 617 542-3822.

How YOU Can Help Save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid!
  • Call/email/Facebook message people you know in other states.
Tell them why the Affordable Care Act is important to you and ask them (beg them!) to make calls to their senators at  www.savemycare.org.
  • Call Massachusetts' leaders:
Thank Governor Charlie Baker for telling Congress he supports the ACA and Medicaid! Our message: "Thank you for speaking up to save our health care. We look forward to your continued efforts to keep health care for all in Massachusetts."
Thank Senators Warren and Markey for great support of the ACA and Medicaid. Our message: "Thank you so much for taking such a leadership role in protecting health care. The disability community is very thankful for your support. We're depending on you!"
Join our Facebook and Twitter Campaign!
Take a photo of yourself holding up a sign that says one of the messages below and post to Facebook or Twitter with #Obamacare #ProtectOurCare. For Twitter: @CharlieBakerMA  @SenMarkey @SenWarren (or your Senator in another state)
  • Because of Obamacare...    [fill in your own message]
  • Without Obamacare I wouldn't be able to...    [fill in your own message]
  • Because of Obamacare, MA has been able to:
    • Provide more preventative care
    • Save disabled people an average of $1,039 in drug costs a year
    • Provide autistic children with physical, occupational, and speech therapy
    • Provide disabled people in MA with home and community based services that allow people with disabilities to live independently in their homes, with dignity
On Facebook you can include this message as a caption:  If you live in ME, OH, PA, TN, IA, AZ, WV, AK, or NV please call your Senator today.  Go to   https://www.savemycare.org/

Special thank you to Shaya French at BCIL for her work preparing much of this information.
Health Care Update: Five Key Questions

The Kaiser Family Foundation had a very good issue brief last week on Medicaid Block grants and Per Capita Caps.  You can read it here.
Budget News: MCDHH Review

From MCDHH Commissioner Heidi Reed:

As we know, the mission of the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is committed to providing accessible communication, education and advocacy to consumers and private and public entities to that programs, services and opportunities are fully accessible to persons throughout Massachusetts who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Governor's House 1 Budget (H.1) was announced this week and funds MCDHH to continue our mission for FY18 as summarized below.

H.1 line item 4125-0100 allocates $5.6M for MCDHH. This figure is a $243K (5%) increase over FY17 estimated spending, and will fund MCDHH at a level equal to the FY17 GAA. (General Appropriations Act).

H.1 Snapshot: 

* Level support for Referral, Case Management and Social Services, and Communication Access Technology & Training Services. These MCDHH programs provide interpreters and CART services for more than 30,000 requests, provide more than 1,000 families with support for navigating state services, and train state agencies, elderly services, police, and emergency responders on the needs of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.

* Level support for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (DHILS). In FY16, DHILS delivered over 23,000 service hours by providing information and referrals, peer mentoring, advocacy and skills training and a variety of independent living skills.

* Provides Assistive Technology (AT) funding which serves as a last resort for highly vulnerable and elderly constituents who primarily request hearing aids in order to manage progressive and permanent hearing loss. Funding will support approximately 54-55 elderly constituents.

* Supports collective bargaining and step increases.

* Includes MCDHH cost savings from reducing $76K in renegotiated office leases and from 9C cuts of $200K during FY17.

MCDHH will continue to be authorized to have revenue from interpreter fees. Our revenue funds are reinvested for communication access.

4125-0122 Chargeback revenue, capped at $250,000.

4125-0104 Interpreter services Revolving/Trust fund revenue $350,000

We at MCDHH look forward to continued collaboration and partnerships with the Baker administration, the Legislature, and our constituents in our strong commitment to improving accessibility and quality of services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults and children throughout the Commonwealth.

Thank you for your dedicated service to the Commonwealth through partnership with MCDHH.
Net News:  CBO Says Eliminating SSI for Children Would Save $113B in One Decade

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has calculated that eliminating Supplemental Security Income for children with disabilities would save a total of $113 billion over the next decade.  Most of the savings ($104B) would be in payments, the remaining $9 would be in administration costs.  You can read about it here.  

The fact that that such a drastic step is even being discussed is very, very troubling.
Net News:  Disabled Lawmaker Fights Abortion Law

The Blaze had a story about Kevin Shinkwin, a member of Britain's House of Lords who was born with disabilities. By law, in the United Kingdom, abortion is legal until 24 weeks.  However, if the fetus has a disability, there is no limit.  You can read more here.
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