May 15, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Our editorial this week links Mattel's Smiling Becky doll and CMS. How is that for a dynamic duo ?

We are pleased to announce two upcoming DPC events. First is our annual meeting in Boston on June 12th.  It will include a free training on using social media for advocacy.  The second event is a movie premiere on June 29, at the Non Profit Center in Boston.  "The Wounds We Cannot See" is an award winning documentary.  We hope to see you at these great events.

As usual we have  our calendar section and happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial:  Axing Smiling Becky and Delaying Community Services; We Cost Too Much

A story on Public Radio International, last month, noted that Mattel had discontinued Barbie's friend Smiling Becky. Becky used a wheelchair, but could never fit into Barbie's house or its elevator. At one point, Mattel indicated they were looking at redesigning Barbie's house so Becky could visit. In the end, access was too difficult and too expensive so Mattel just axed the Crip. Problem solved.

I was thinking of Becky this week when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was giving States three extra years to come into compliance with Home and Community-Based Settings Criteria. States will not have to comply with the rules developed in 2014 until March 17, 2022. Now, implementation plans will not be due until 2019, originally those plans were due this year.

The new rules set standards of care for disability services in the States. Among the changes were increased consumer rights to privacy, limits on the number of people living in group facilities to no more than seven and required the phasing out of sheltered workshops in favor of integrated, competitive employment.

Medicaid administrators and private companies had lobbied against the 2019 deadline to achieve compliance. Among the concerns expressed were a lack of resources and the need to develop complex plans. One must wonder how States will ever come into compliance if the House of Representatives succeed in their plans to cut $880 billion from Medicaid.

In the end, we are just like Smiling Becky, very cute to look at, but too damn expensive to accommodate. I just hope no one decides to discontinue us because of the high cost of compliance.

John Winske
DPC News: Annual Meeting
When:  Monday,  June 12, 2017,  5:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, 101 Huntington Avenue, Prudential Complex, Boston

Join us for our annual meeting, dinner and a training on using Facebook, Twitter and Social Media for Advocacy.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to serve of the Board of Directors of the DPC please send a resume and a one page statement of why you want to serve and your skills to  

To register contact Amy at  

Also please inform us of any reasonable accommodation or dietary needs no later than Tuesday, May 30th. 
DPC News:  Hold The Date!!!!!!!!!
A Movie Premiere of "The Wounds We Cannot See"  

When:  Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Where:  89 South Street, Boston, MA

We are proud to present the premiere of a new documentary directed and produced by Alexander Freeman of Newton.   "The Wounds We Cannot See" is about one woman's struggles with mental health disabilities induced by trauma and violence.  The movie has been honored with several awards including best documentary at the 2017 Long Beach Film Festival.

Alexander is a graduate of Emerson College and has cerebral palsy.  He will participate in a question and answer question session after the screening.
News: CMS Delays Rules

As noted in my editorial, CMS delayed implementation dates for Home and Community-Based Standards until March of 2022.  You can read more here.  Here is a direct link to the notice from CMS.
Net News:  Meet the Wu-Tang Clan's Sign Language Interpreter had a great article about Holly Maniatty who has performed sign language for a wide variety of musical acts including Killer Mike, Wu-Tang Clan, Bruce Springsteen and others.  You can read about it here,
Calendar: MASS Meeting

When:  Thursday, May 18, 2017, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Where:  Beaverbrook Step, 85 Main Street 2nd Floor, Watertown, MA  02472

Join Mass Advocates Standing Strong for our monthly meeting.

Any questions please email us at 
Calendar: Walpole Fire Department Host:
Emergency Preparedness for the Deaf

When:  Saturday, May 20, 2017, 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where:  Blackburn Hall, 30 Stone St., Walpole, MA 02081
  • Guest speakers
  • Hands on training for adults
  • Children's materials will be available.
  • This is a chance to ask questions and learn.
Come see, touch, get in Fire trucks, Ambulances, Police cruisers, and Police Motorcycles!
Come see equipment used by the Departments, ask questions!
K-9 police dog demonstration (including a takedown and drug sniffing)!

Talk with the representatives from:
Walpole Fire Department, Police Department, and EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Massachusetts State Police, And others

Lunch will be provided (12 noon) through generous donations from local restaurants and pizza shops.

If ASL Interpreters / Tactile / Close Vision / CART / CDI needed, Please Contact: John Buccieri, Jr. :

RSVP by May 5, 2017 Please.

Any questions Contact: Erik Bailey Cell: 978-289-8228 Email:
John Buccieri, Jr. Email: 
Calendar:  MBTA Access Advisory Committee Annual Summit

When:  Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 8:30 A.M. - Noon

Where:  Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Conference Rooms 1-3, Boston, MA 02116 

Panel Discussion:  The Future of Transit Accessibility

Remarks by: 

Stephanie Pollack- Secretary & CEO, MassDOT

Brian Shortsleeve- Chief Administrator & Acting General Manager, MBTA

David Scorey- Chief Executive Officer & General Manager, Keolis

AACT meeting to follow at 1:00 PM. All are welcome!

The last day to register will be May 12.

Please do not hesitate to contact Janie Guion, AACT Coordinator, at 857-702-3658 or by email at for help with registration or questions related to the summit. 

We look forward to welcoming you!
In This Issue
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