March 14, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

Dear (Contact First Name),

Recently, the DPC received several inquiries about our position on a bill establishing an Office of Health Equity. This week, we lead with an editorial on the issue.

We have some new calendar events, three job openings, an opportunity to volunteer and a news story for you.

Drop us a line.  Let us know how we can improve this newsletter.

As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Editorial:  Health Disparities Should Be Integrated

This week, the DPC was contacted by several people to ask if we were supporting Senator Barrett's bill Senate 1114, "An Act to Eliminate Health Disparities in the Commonwealth". The bill is one of several at the State House seeking to establish an Office of Health Equity within the Office of Health and Human Services. Unfortunately, we cannot support Senator Barrett's bill. We are supporting a different bill being proposed by Representative Byron Rushing. I want to take a moment to explain some history and our reasoning.

First, please know we have incredible respect for Senator Barrett. He has been a champion for people with disabilities for decades. We love him and hope to work with him on other bills now and long into the future. But in S1114, we see a fundamental flaw. This bill would stipulate that disability would be one category, alongside race, ethnicity and language to be considered. Public health officials and our partners, who specialize in working with communities of color, viewed this as a potential dilution of their work to empower their constituents. We heard their concerns.

We pointed out that their proposals did not include people with disabilities. We pointed out that people of color are far more likely to have a disability than the general public. They listened to us and addressed our concerns. Now the bill we are supporting together includes disability as an issue that will be dealt with by the new office. It will ensure that the Office of Health Equity will address the issues faced by people with disabilities who are confronted with the dual barriers of race and disability. While people who are white and have a disability face discrimination, we know that those at the nexus of race or linguistic minority status and disability are confronted with stark inequities.

The DPC has been working on health disparities and people with disabilities since 2009. With generous support from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation and Community Catalyst, we have raised the issue into the light. The barriers we confront are real and they cause the premature death of too many of our brothers and sisters. We work every day to bring about change.

One of the central tenets of our movement has been integration. We know that when we are put in silos or we are segregated, we lose. In our humble opinion, our friend Senator Barrett's bill would lead to our issues being segregated, and those who confront multiple forms of discrimination would lose.

John Winske

Next week we will have a thorough review of the issue by Dennis Heaphy.
Calendar: Blind Informational Networking Day 2016
When:  Thursday, March 24, 2016, 11:30 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.
Where:  Massachusetts State House

The Governor's proposed budget for FY2017 has recommended level-funding for most of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) state appropriations, along with the Perkins and Worcester Library programs. Funding support is also needed for special education for students with disabilities.

Program Schedule
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Light buffet lunch with legislators/access product demonstrations
  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. - Awards/consumer presentations
  • 1:15 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and beyond - Networking, walk around the State House to visit representative and senators' offices

Your participation is critical! Please complete the online registration form.

Thank you for supporting and being a part of the 8th annual "B.L.I.N.D." State House event on Thursday, March 24.

See our Blind Informational Day page for more details.
Calendar: Open Caption Showing Batman vs. Superman
When:  Sunday, March 27, 2016, Noon

Where: Regal Cinemas at Solomon Pond in Marlborough, MA

Mass AG Bell is pleased to announce the scheduling of an  open-captioned version of Batman v. Superman, the latest movie blockbuster  that will hit theaters in late March.

On Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 12:00 pm, Regal Cinemas  at the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, MA, will display  Batman v. Superman in 3D, with open captions available  on the screen.

Despite the wonderful technological advancements made in  captioning movies at theaters in recent years, it can be an  harrowing experience because the technology currently  used is far from reliable. With open captions, the text is  displayed right on the screen, view-able by all without any need  for additional technology.

The movie is open to the public, and all can attend. Given it  is the opening weekend of the movie, it is be advised to purchase  tickets in advance if you intend on going, to ensure you will  have a seat. You can purchase tickets through Fandango or  your website of choice.

The   Fandango link is here:

Please be sure to select the 12 pm showing that Fandango marks  as open captioned.

The Solomon Pond Mall in Marlboro, MA is located just 
off rts. 290, 495, and 90, making it a very central location for  many residents in the state. The theater is 50 minutes from  Boston and 20 minutes from Worcester.

Mass AG Bell would like to thank Regal Cinemas for helping  facilitate the first of what we hope will be several  open-captioned movies throughout the year.

We hope to see you there!

Evan Brunell, Past President
Mass A.G. Bell: Massachusetts Chapter of the Alexander 
Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
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Calendar :  MOD Andover Regional Disability Commission Meeting
When:  Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 11:00 A.M. - 1:45 P.M.

Where:  Massachusetts School of Law, 500 Federal Street, Room 206, Andover, MA

 The Massachusetts Office on Disability will be holding a regional meeting for members of local Commissions on Disability and interested people hosted by the Andover Commission on Disability.

It will be an opportunity to hear from David D'Arcangelo, Director, Massachusetts Office on Disability.

Discussion will include the impact of the budget on people with disabilities and an update on what MOD has been doing throughout the state as well as other initiatives that involve the COD's. There will also be time allowed for a general discussion among commission members to network with one another.

This will provide an opportunity to share what your commission has accomplished in the past year as well as time to discuss any roadblocks you may be encountering. Light refreshments will be provided.

We hope you all can join us. Anyone who is interested in this Regional Commission meeting should contact me by April 21, 2016 at the above number. Please advise me no later than April 21, 2016 if you need an accommodation.

Please be aware of the following:
1. This meeting is open to all COD's and their membership; however, physical mailings only went out to COD's around the Andover region.

2. For other Regional Commission on Disability Meetings, please visit our website. There may be an upcoming meeting closer to your region.

3. Pre-Registration is required. Contact me if you are interested in attending this meeting by the dates listed above.


Jeffrey L. Dougan
Assistant Director for Community Services

Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-7440
Fax: 617-727-0965
Advocacy Opportunity:  Massachusetts AT Program Looking for Volunteers 

The Assistive Technology (AT) Act program in Massachusetts - MassMATCH - is looking for interested individuals, especially persons with disabilities who use 
AT to join its program Advisory Council.

All AT Act programs are required to have a consumer-majority advisory council that provides consumer-driven
as well as consumer-responsive advice to the state for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of activities carried out through the grant, including setting 
measurable goals. In addition, the program is required 
to have an advisory council that is geographically representative of the State and reflect the diversity 
of the State with respect to race, ethnicity, types of disabilities across the age span, and users of types of services that an individual with a disability may receive.

In order to ensure that the MassMATCH Advisory 
council is as diverse as possible and meets the above requirements, the program is looking for individuals 
with disabilities who use AT, family members of such individuals or members of the public who are interested 
in AT to serve on our advisory council.
  • The council meets once every 3 months
  • All meetings are 4 hours, usually from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
  • We provide free nourishment - continental breakfast and boxed lunch
  • Meetings are at a location which is accessible from anywhere in the state
  • We provide transportation to and from meetings or reimburse you for your transportation
  • You can participate in the meetings remotely from your home or from a nearby MRC office
  • We provide reasonable accommodations such as CART, ASL, etc. to enable full participation

If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, please contact Kobena Bonney, the 
MassMATCH Program Coordinator at 617-204-3826 
or by email at

You may also read more about the advisory council and its activities or complete the online Membership Nomination Form at
Employment Opportunity: Two Openings at Community Autism Resources
Community Autism Resources, Inc. is seeking qualified candidates for new positions within our Autism Support Center. Community Autism Resources is dedicated to assisting persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families by building collaborative relationships with those involved in an effort to provide comprehensive and individually tailored supports. Our employees enjoy a supportive work environment, opportunities for development and a real opportunity to make a difference.

JOB TITLE: Autism Specialist for Adults with ASD
LOCATION: Northern Satellite Office within our Southeast Regional area FULL TIME POSITION
Primary responsibilities will include assessment, consultation, development of community based activities, supports, and trainings. Collaborative work with individuals with ASD and their families, DMH, DDS and other family support organizations in the development of trainings and resources. Travel required.

Successful candidates will have: the minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in Education, Human Services, Social Work, or a related field. Must have been employed for three or more years in their field, with a special emphasis on working with individuals, preferably adults, who have autism and related disorders. Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as good interpersonal skills. Bilingual skills a plus.

JOB TITLE: Event Coordinator for Adults with ASD
LOCATION: Northern Satellite Office within our Southeast Regional area
Primary responsibilities will include planning of community based activities - to include social and sensory group experiences. Collaborative work with individuals with ASD and their families. Planning of special events (symposiums; specific workshops; etc.) Sharing of resources with DMH, DDS and other family support organizations. Travel required.

Successful candidates will have: the minimum of an Associate's Degree in Education, Human Services, Social Work, or a related field. Must have been employed for three or more years in their field, with a special emphasis on working with individuals, preferably adults, who have autism and related disorders. Life experience with individuals on the autism spectrum is desirable. Must be willing to learn about or know what community resources are available. Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as good interpersonal skills. Bilingual skills a plus.

Interested individuals should complete an on-line application at the Community Autism Resources' website -- In addition to the application, applicants should send a resume and cover letter outlining how they meet the specific requirements of the position to by March 30th.

While we sincerely appreciate all applications, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Employment Opportunity: Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman (SBOO), One Care Ombudsman (OCO) Program

SUPERVSIOR: OCO Deputy Director
WORK HOURS: 40 hrs/wk

SALARY: $42,000 per annum
FUNDING: Funds committed until 12/30/16 
Funds anticipated through 12/30/18
BENEFITS: Worker's Comp, Health Insurance Premium Coverage: 50% Family and 75% Individual, Sick Leave, Vacation Pay, and Business Travel Mileage Reimbursement. Non-robationary full-time employees have the option of telecommuting two days per week.
TRAVEL: Required, moderate
CORI Check: Required

Principle duties of the Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman:
1) Identify, investigate, resolve and report complaints
2) Work with One Care Plan eligible individuals and enrollees as well as One Care Plans to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns and assist in filing appeals and grievances.
3) Address the Ombudsman concerns and needs of Spanish speaking individuals, families and communities
4) Manage the OCO's outreach strategy and planning, with special focus on the delivery and evaluation of the success of the program's outreach.
5) Bring systemic concerns and patterns to the attention of the OCO Director

The Spanish Bilingual and Outreach Ombudsman concurrently provides ombudsman services and manages OCO Outreach and Marketing activities. The Ombudsman operates in a manner to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of those seeking services and maintains an independent, neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised. The OCO Ombudsman operates under the general direction of the OCO Deputy Director and in accordance with contractual requirements.

Net News: Phoenix Puts Access Requirements on Airport Transportation
This article came to us from Katherine McGuinness. Phoenix has passed local legislation requiring Transportation Network Providers to ensure accessible service within 30 minutes in exchange for serving the airport.  You can read about it here.
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Disability Policy Consortium
11 Dartmouth Street
Suite 301
Malden, MA 02148
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