June 17, 2019
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


The DPC Annual meeting is on Wednesday at the NonProfit Center in Boston.  I hope you will attend.  

We begin the Update with an editorial about the stunning win of a Tony Award by Ali Stroker.  This moment of elation was followed by a chilling reminder that work remains.

We have notices of some job opportunities.  We then  have several opportunities in the advocacy arena.
Until next week, happy reading. 

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC News: Join Us for the DPC Annual Meeting  
When:  Wednesday, June 19, 2019,  5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

Where:  NonProfit Center, 89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111 (near South Station).

5:30  Dinner 

6:30  Keynote Speakers

Anne Fracht and Brian Kremer
Mass Advocates Standing Strong
   Business Meeting
   Board Election

If you wish to attend or need reasonable accommodations, please contact Jeff Gentry at jgentry@dpcma.org or 617 542-3822, before June 12, 2019.

If you wish to be considered for the Board of the DPC, please contact jgentry@dpcma.org.
Editorial:  First a Wondrous Moment, Then a Stark Reminder that Work Remains

Last Sunday night a thunderclap went off through the community of people with disabilities. The 2019 Tony Award, for featured actress in a musical, went to Ali Stroker, a wheelchair user.  It was for her take on Ado Annie Carnes in Oklahoma!- the musical revival.   You can see People Magazines take on it here .

In accepting the award, Ms. Stroker spoke to children with disabilities watching her.  In many ways  her speech was the pure embodiment of  disability pride.  You can see it here

The award was more remarkable because Ali was playing a character that does not have a disability.  The character, in this rendition of the musical, is overtly sexual and Ms. Stroker plays the role with a gusto.  Watching her performance and her acceptance speech, there was a momentary feeling that we may be turning a corner here.

The next day NBC had a video of Ms. Stroker's acceptance speech and reactions from a number of children.  It was clear that her message had found it's target.  The video featured children in wheelchairs turning to their parents saying "She is talking to me."

Later that night, Oklahoma! won an award for the best revival of a musical.  One could not help but notice there was no sign of Ms. Stroker, as the cast and crew assembled on stage.

We found out then in an article on HuffPost, that the stage at Radio City Music Hall did not have a ramp.  Not even temporary access had been built for the night.  Ali had waited backstage, after her performance, in case she won.  Later, when the show itself won the award, she could not get on stage to participate.  It was a sad reminder of the work that remains.  Like many accomplishments, it felt like a mirage appearing in a desert of struggle.  A momentary glance at nirvana.  How fitting it came on Broadway.

In all it, was a stunning win, a momentary sense of elation, followed by a cold splash water, not Champagne.

John Winske
Employment  Opportunity: Health HIV 

Job Opportunities - Applications Due June 20, 2019

With the awarding of several major new grants, HealthHIV is expanding its staff and looking for outstanding candidates for the following positions:

Capacity Building Assistance Manager
(HIV, HCV, and Opioid Use Disorders)

Capacity Building Assistance Coordinator
(HIV and OUD Prevention and Treatment)

Capacity Building Assistance Coordinator
(Aging with HIV and LGBT Health)

Health Writer/Editor

HealthHIV offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and based on salary history, as well as an outstanding benefits package, and dynamic work environment.

If you are interested, please read the job description carefully and submit your cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to jobs@healthhiv.org by Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Please include the job title for which you are applying in the subject line.

HealthHIV is an Equal Opportunity Employer; minorities, LGBT individuals, and persons living with HIV are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit HealthHIV's Job Opportunities page. No phone calls, please
Advocacy Opportunity: Gathering Data on Audio Description Listings 

Hello, All:

I would appreciate if all on the leadership list could spread this email far and wide.

As chair of the video working group for the FCC, I have been asked to gather some data for the group. We are currently looking into whether or not we can require those under the CVAA who have to provide audio description to also provide an accurate listing of what shows are audio described as well. We would like to make it easier for the blind and low vision consumer to know what to watch when and where.

It would be helpful if anyone who uses audio description can answer the following questions:

1.  Where do you go to see what is on the broadcast networks and cable stations to see which shows are audio described?

2.  Are the listings accurate?

3.  Are the listings accessible?

Please email answers to carl@carl-richardson.com.

I appreciate your support on this.

Carl Richardson
Advocacy Opportunity:  Assisted Suicide Hearing

When:  Tuesday, June 25 at 11 a.m.

Where:  Gardner Auditorium,  State House, Boston

(Bowdoin Street entrance)

In spite of losing in a statewide election in 2012, the assisted suicide bill ( HB 1926 and S1208 ) has been resurrected. The new bill is called "The End-Of-Life Options Act", and has changed from the original ballot question. More protections have been added, but the disability community needs to determine whether these are adequate. At MWCIL, we still have concerns.

In MetroWest, some of our legislators have already signed on to the bill. On the surface, this initiative feels like it has more widespread support than the 2012 ballot question. In other words, if you have an opinion on this topic, please share it at the hearing!

We hope that people with disabilities will testify at the hearing as we have a unique perspective on this issue. Oral testimony will probably be limited to 2 or 3 minutes, but anyone can provide written testimony.

Written testimony should be sent to the chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Health, Senator Jo Comerford and Representative John Mahoney.

We thank the MetroWest Independent Living Center and Not Dead Yet for this notice.

We at the DPC recognize there are differing views on this initiative within our membership and our community.  However you feel please take this opportunity to influence the process.
Advocacy Opportunity:  Two Bills Affecting the Deaf Community 

What: Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Hearing

When:  Monday, June 24, 2019, 1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Where: State House, Room A-2

Two bills directly impacting Deaf and hard of hearing will be heard this day : 

S198 - An Act establishing the licensure of interpreters and oral transliterators for the Deaf 

S197 - An Act protecting consumers of sign language and oral interpretation and transliteration
Calendar: Help the Disability Law Center Set Priorities   

The Disability Law Center (DLC) is looking for your expertise on the issues you face as a person or a family member of a person with a disability. We will be using the information you provide us for our annual priority setting process.

Thursday, June 27
10 am - 3 pm
Suffolk University - Sargent Hall
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108

A light lunch will be provided **

Please submit any accommodation requests to Amanda at 617-315-4440 or agasparonis@dlc-ma.org.

RSVPs are encouraged in order for us to have an accurate number for materials and food. You can RSVP by calling Amanda at 617-315-4440 or emailing her at agasparonis@dlc-ma.org.

Visit our 2019 Priorities Page

Take our 2020 Priorities Survey

Disability Law Center
Calendar: Health Care Advocacy: A Central Focus of the Movement for LGBTQ Equality & Liberation

When:  Monday June 17, 2019, 6 pm

Where:   Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston St. Boston, 10th floor auditorium
Advocacy for culturally competent, affirming health care has been a central focus of the LGBT movement since soon after the Stonewall rebellion in 1969. This panel will convene LGBT leaders and experts working in health care, research, and advocacy to discuss the role of health care advocacy in LGBTQ community organizing, both over the past half century and in the future.
Confirmed panelists (in formation):
  • Jennifer Potter, MD, Co-Chair of the Fenway Institute
  • Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW, Professor, Simmons University School of Social Work and School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Stewart Landers, JD, MCP, Senior Consultant, John Snow, Incorporated
  • Grace Sterling Stowell, MA, Executive Director, Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth
  • Gary Daffin, Executive Director, Multicultural AIDS Coalition
  • Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research, Fenway Institute
Sean Cahill, PhD
Director of Health Policy Research
The Fenway Institute
126 Brookline
1340 Boylston St.
Boston,  MA  02215
Office:  617.927.6016
Calendar: City of Boston Community Forum on Disability Issues

When:  Friday, June 28, 2019,  2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Where: Suffolk University Law School, 
120 Tremont St, Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Do you have concerns, questions, or comments on a disability issue in Boston?

We want to hear from you!
  • Provide input to the City of Boston's Annual Accessibility Agenda
  • Hear updates from Disability Commissioner Kristen McCosh
  • Meet members of the Boston Disability Commission Advisory Board
  • Make your concerns about accessibility known to City Officials
  • Network with Disability Community Friends over Free Food & Drinks
ASL and CART have been requested for this event.

To request an accommodation, contact us by June 14th at:  disability@boston.gov or call 617-635-3682 / 
617-635-2541 TTY

Pre- Register and request accommodations online.

* Pre-registration is not required to attend

ASL and CART provided.

Calendar: 24th Annual Deaf Awareness Day at Six Flag New England  

When:  Saturday, August 3, 2019, Ticket Booths Open 9:00 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Rides and Waterpark Only

Tickets are $39 per person, Children under 2 are Free!

In This Issue
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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