February 21, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


This week, the G.O.P. leaders of the U.S. House of Representative, released their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  In one word Ugly.  No Horrifying.   How about Horrifyingly Ugly!  You can read about it below.

We have information on a Microsoft scholarship.  Pass the application on to  any high school seniors you may know.  On the good news front, Temple Grandin has been named to the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Lastly, we have news of an ASL class and a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day at the State House. 
As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Community News: Microsoft disAbility Scholarship

Microsoft disability scholarship

The disAbility Scholarship at Microsoft delivers on the mission of Microsoft's cross disability employee resource group to empower and enable people with disabilities. This scholarship enables high school students with disabilities to go to college and target a career in the technology industry. In addition, we hope to contribute to increasing the pool of persons living with a disability enrolling in higher education and, in the long term, decrease the unemployment bias for this demographic.

This scholarship will be awarded to promising high school seniors who plan to attend a vocational or academic college and have a financial need. The amount of this renewable scholarship to be awarded is $5,000 per year, up to $20,000. The scholarship is paid through the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the disAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Microsoft to the recipient's school's Financial Aid Office.


To be considered for the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship, you must:
  • Be a current high school senior living with a disAbility (as defined by WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive, speech or other disAbility.
  • Plan to attend an undergraduate program in a 2 or 4-year University/College or Technical College in the fall of the academic year following high-school graduation. Schools must be in the USA or have a USA-Affiliate for financial transactions (contact Seattle Foundation to verify non-USA school's eligibility).
  • Declare a major in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, law, business, or a related field (e.g. paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing).
  • Demonstrate a passion for technology.
  • Demonstrate leadership at school and/or in the community.
  • Have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Require financial assistance to attend college.
  • Enrollment status must be full-time or half time.
    How to Apply 
To apply for a Microsoft disAbility Scholarship, print and fill out the application. 

Enclose it in an envelope with the following items:
  • Résumé. Your résumé should include the following information:
    • Extracurricular activities (school and community related)
    • Honors and awards that you have received (if possible, include awards that are technology related)
    • Work experience
  • Picture of yourself (Optional).
  • Transcript. Include an official "sealed" copy of your current academic transcript. (If selected, unofficial copies will not be accepted.)
  • Three essays.
  • In no more than 500 words, describe how you plan to be engaged in the technology industry or technology law or policy in your career.
  • In no more than 500 words, please share your vision of how Microsoft can innovate its future devices and services solutions to creatively & successfully support those living with disabilities in the workplace and in daily life to reach their potential.
  • In no more than 250 words, demonstrate your financial need for this scholarship.
  • Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a faculty or staff member at your school. Letters of recommendation should be original and should not be duplicates of college recommendation letters. (Letters must be on letterhead.)
  • Complete Application Form
Fill out the entire Application Form at the end of this page. You can type the information or print clearly. When you are done, print Sections I and II of the Application Form and make sure that you sign and date the verification on the 4th page.

Mail completed applications to the following address by March 15. Selection will be complete, and those selected to receive the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship will be notified by April 30.

Seattle Foundation
Attn: Scholarships
1601 Fifth Ave. Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101

There is a link to Download the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship application (Microsoft Word document, 144 KB)At this page:

Net News:  Disabled Shunned and Silenced in Trumps America        

This week in the New York Times weekly Disability column, there was an opinion piece written by Melissa Blake, a writer with a disability.  You can read it here.
Health Care Update: House G.O,P. Leaders Outline Plan to Replace Obama Health Care  

This week House Republican leaders introduced their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  It is ugly for our community.  You can read the New York Times article here.

As Sherlock Holmes would say, "The games afoot."  In this case, the game may be our lives. 
Net News: Temple Grandin Named to National Women's Hall of Fame   

The Art of Autism blog reported this week that Temple Grandin has been named to the National Women's Hall of Fame.  You can read about it here.
Calendar:  Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents' Annual Day  

When:  Monday, March 13, 2017,  10:00 A.M. - Noon

Where:  Great Hall, Massachusetts State House, Boston

A gathering of Statewide Advisory Council members,
community members, legislators, and State Agency

Program and annual awards

F or more information and/or to request close vision/tactile interpreters:

Deadline for communication access requests is: February 13, 2017.

Afternoon Legislative Visits:

Meet with your legislators to discuss community concerns and bills of interest.  Schedule your visits in advance: find your legislators' names and contact
information on the web at malegislature.gov.

To request communication access: contact the ADA Coordinator at the State House by email at carl.richardson@state.ma.us or via phone at 857-400-5502.   Requests are due by February 27th.
Calendar:  American Sign Language Classes 

When:  Wednesday evenings, April 12, 2017 to June 14, 2017 (10 weeks), 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Class is ASL Level I
  • Open to 18 and over
  • Taught by Deaf Instructor
  • Learn about Deaf Culture Too

Class is $200 not including instructional materials.

Classes require a minimal enrollment of six students.


Deadline to register is April 5, 2017.


For more information please contact:  Joan Philip, Center for Living and Working, 484 Main Street, Suite 345, Worcester, MA 01608.


Voice/TTY: 508 755-1003

Video Phone: 508 762-1164

or jphilip@centerlw.org

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