March 26, 2018
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


The weather may not be balmy but judging by our full calendar section Spring is in full swing.

We have a several news stories for you.   Additionly we have information on two fellowship opportunities.

Until next week,  as always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Net News:  Medicare Counseling Escapes Budget Cuts for Now

Reuters News is reporting that the $1.3 trillion budget deal, that was signed by the President, included $49.1 million for the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP).  SHIP trains volunteers to assist seniors and people with disabilities to applyfor and understand Medicare.  In Massachusetts, the program is Serving the Health Information Needs of Everyone or SHINE.  It provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to all Massachusetts residents with Medicare. 

Net News: Google Adds Public Transit Accessibility Information to Maps

Google has started to add accessibility information to its Map Application for planning trips on public transit in cities.  Thus far, the app covers New York, Tokyo, London, Mexico City, Sydney, and Boston.  Other cities will be rolled out as the information is completed.  You can read about it here.
Fellowship Opportunity: Application Period Opens For Gopen and Crocker Fellowships 

The application period is now open for the 2018-19 Gopen and Crocker Fellowships.  The Fellowships begin in July and are one year, 20 hour per week positions based at ICI.   The Gopen Fellowship is for a person with developmental disabilities, and the Crocker Fellowship is for a family member.  The Fellowships are recognized by the Administration on Community Living as DD Network collaborative projects.   The MDDC provides some grant funding for the Gopen Fellowship, and the E.K. Shriver Center does so for the Crocker Fellowship.
The announcements are on the MDDC's website at  .  ICI is also posting this information on its website. 
Both fellowships come with stipends of up to $2o,000.   The deadline to apply is the end of April.
Calendar:  One Care TeleTown Hall

When:  Tuesday March 27, 2018, 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Join us on the phone.

Tell the Implementation Council:

What is working?

What needs to be fixed?

Call Toll Free 1 (877) 300-1240.

Calendar:  Summit on Accessible Transportation

When:  Tuesday March 27, 2018, 2:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where:    Boston Public Library - Copley Square,McKim Building, Guastavino Room
230 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116

You are invited to join the Boston Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities, the Access Advisory Committee to the MBTA (AACT), and the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for a discussion on accessible transportation.

We want to hear from you!
  • Help shape the Boston Region MPO's Long-Range Transportation Plan
  • Provide input on accessible transportation needs and opportunities for people of all abilities traveling in Boston
  • Learn about new innovations and speak with transportation professionals, including: The MBTA, The RIDE, WAV Taxis, Uber, bicycle and pedestrian planners, and more!
ASL and CART provided. This is a scent free event.

To request an accommodation or translation, contact us by March 20th at:
617-635-3682 / 617-635-2541 TTY

Pre-Register and Request Accommodations
* Pre-registration is not required to attend.
Calendar: Off the Rails at the ReelAbilities Film Festival

When: Thursday. March 29, e2018, 7:00 pm

Where: Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Off the Rails 

The remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger's syndrome, whose love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors. Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone, he remains imprisoned in Rikers Island in New York. Darius' story embodies the criminal justice system's failure to channel the passions of a mentally challenged man into a purposeful life.

Discussion to follow with film subjects Sally Butler, Esq., lawyer for Darius McCollum; and Liz Loebman, Forensic Social Worker.

Co-presented with Asperger/Autism Network, Roxbury International Film Festival, Disability Law Center, Aspire, and Harvard Law School Project.

Tickets $10 each online at

Share this event on Facebook:
Calendar:  Deaf/Blind Awareness Day

When:  Thursday, March 29th, 2018, 10:00 A.M. - Noon

Where:  Massachusetts State House, Boston

Massachusetts DeafBlind Awareness Day

"From Infants to Elders: Real Stories...Real Lives"


Organizations and agencies will showcase the critical services they provide to children, youth and adults who are DeafBlind in the Commonwealth. Key agencies serving persons who are DeafBlind will be on exhibit. DeafBlind Awareness Day will highlight the importance of fiscal resources, programs and services that enhance the lives of children and adults who are DeafBlind. Come show your support for children, youth and adults who are DeafBlind throughout Massachusetts. Families and service providers are welcome and encouraged to attend!

9:30 Check-in and registration at the Great Hall (Second Floor)

10:05 Welcome

10:10 Greetings from MA Commissioners

10:20 Panel Presentation - "From Infants to Elders - Real Stories....Real Lives"

Presenters share their stories and highlight the vital impact of services on their lives.

10:50 Awards and Acknowledgements

11-Noon  Visit Your State Representatives and Senators. Let your legislators know that their support makes a major difference in the lives of individuals who are DeafBlind in Massachusetts!

Click this link to find your legislator:
Calendar: Deaf and Hard of Hearin Constituents' Day at the State House

When:  Thursday, May 17, 2018, 10:00 A.M. - Noon

Where:   State House, Boston

Hosted by the Statewide Advisory Council

A gathering of Statewide Advisory Council members, community members, legislators, and state agency directors.

Special Award Presentation:

The Diane L. Nettles Outstanding Advocate: Dennis Heaphy
Outstanding Service Provider: Road to Deaf Interpreting
Outstanding Organization: Watertown Public Library
Outstanding Young Advocate: Austin Henry

For more information and/or to request close vision/tactile interpreters: Ami.Hanigan@MassMail.State.MA.US

Deadline for communication access requests is: April 19, 2018
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

To request communication access: contact the ADA Coordinator at the State House by email at or via phone at 857-400-5502. Requests are due by May 3rd.

Calendar: Architectural Access Board Public Hearing Dates 521 CMR

Below you will find the dates and locations for the public hearings on the proposed changes to 521 CMR. They are also on the AAB website.

The proposed updates are online at

We have been advocating for these changes for a long time. Compliance with these regulations should make more housing accessible and remove barriers for employment for people with disabilities. Please attend a hearing, and let the AAB know that we support these changes.

March 29, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
UMass Amherst
Lincoln Campus Center
1 Campus Center Way Room 163C
Amherst, MA
Parking: The parking garage is located next to the Campus Center
UMass Campus Maps

April 5, 2018 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
One Ashburton Place
21st Floor, Conference Rooms 1 and 2
Boston, MA

April 12, 2018 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Worcester State University
May Street Auditorium
May Street Building
280 May StreetWorcester, MA
Parking: There is on-street parking located around the May St. Building

April 26, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Salem State University
Petrowski Room
Marsh Hall #210
71B Loring Ave, Salem
Parking: Follow signs for Enterprise Center parking
Salem State University Campus Map

May 24, 2018 8:30 - 12:30
Cape Cod Community College
Science Lecture Hall C
2240 Iyannough RoadWest Barnstable, MA
Parking: Lots 8 and 9
Cape Cod Community College Campus Map

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request (note that CART and ASL services have been requested from MCDHH). Include a description of the accommodation you will need,
including as much detail as you can. Also include a way we can contact you if we need more information. 

Please allow at least two weeks (14 days) advance notice. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to Thomas Hopkins at or contact him by telephone at 617-727-0660.

Our thanks to MetroWest Center for Independent Living for sharing this with us.
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