February 16, 2016
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update

Dear (Contact First Name),

Welcome back from the deep-freeze and the long weekend.  T his week, we have some quick updates from the DPC and a busy calendar section for you in our newsletter.

If you use PCA services, we have an opportunity for you to participate in a national research project.

The last piece is a candidates scorecard.  It will fill you in on which of the presidential candidates cared enough to answer a survey about issues affecting people with disabilities.  You can follow the link and read the candidates answers.
 
As always  happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC News: Quick Updates
 
In case you missed the article in the Boston Globe, the DPC along with the Disability Law Center (DLC) and the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL), will be consulting with Uber. We will be working together to identify the transportation needs of people who require wheelchair accessible vehicles.

We expect to hold at least two open community forums later in the spring.  We are excited to have this opportunity and will keep you posted.


Employment is another advocacy front.  We are working with DLC, BCIL and Easter Seals to review the Governor's Report on Unemployment and the Massachusetts State Plan for Compliance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  We want to ensure that people with disabilities are included in all policies to expand employment opportunities.  

Lastly, a big congratulations to DPC Board member and former employee, Robyn Powell.  The American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD) announced that Robyn was one of two recipients of the 2016  Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award.  The Award  recognizes outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community.

Congratulations Robyn!
Calendar:  NAMI Latino Leaders Event
 
When:  Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 6:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.

Where:  NAMI Mass Office, The Schrafft's Building, 
171M,  Boston, Mass, 02129

Join us for an evening of inspirational storytelling, poetry, healthcare, Immigration discussion with...

Iris Gomez of Mass Law Reform Institute

Immigration Attorney, Poet, Colombian immigrant & Author of "Try To Remember" and 
Jacqueline Martinez on Yes Health

To confirm email to fwillis@namimass.org or call 617-580-8541.
Calendar:  Self Advocates Voting Event  

When:  Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 6 P.M. - 8 P.M.

Where:  Watertown Free Public Library,  123 Main Street, Watertown, MA  02472

As a reminder, this Forum is geared towards self-advocates, and will cover topics including.
* Voting Rights
* Where to vote and different ways to vote
* How to overcome barriers to voting
* How to find more information on candidates

It will take place on Wednesday February 24th, 6-8pm at the Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room, 123 Main Street, Watertown 02472.

Thank you to the Disability Law Center ( www.dlc-ma.org) for sponsoring this important event!

This event is free, but we ask that people RSVP, so we know how much food to order.To RSVP, or if you have any questions, email or call Rachel at rachel.mass.metro@gmail.com or 339-832-2922.

Please pass on word about this Forum, and replace any printed copies of the flyer with this new version! We look forward to seeing you on the 24th!

Rachel Hayward
MASS Metro Regional Coordinator
(339) 832-2922

Check Out MASS' New Website: www.ma-advocates.org

Metro Region's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/groups/MetroMassAdvocates
Calendar :  Mass. Commission for the Blind Listening Sessions
 
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) will be conducting a series of listening sessions across the Commonwealth between October 2015 and March 2016. These listening sessions will seek to solicit consumer, provider and community perspectives on a range of services provided by MCB, as well as allow for input and feedback on other topics of importance.

MCB is inviting consumers, families, and all key stakeholders to attend sessions nearest them. MCB Commissioner Paul Saner will be on hand to hear your insights.

For those who cannot attend in person, comments may be submitted in writing to the Office of the Commissioner, MCB, 600 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111 or email to Stephen.Berdos@state.ma.us

February and March Dates and Locations
 
Worcester
Worcester Senior Center
128 Providence Street
Worcester MA 01604
Friday, February 19th 10:00AM-11:00AM
     
Boston
Perkins School for the Blind
Grousbeck Center
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Thursday, February 25th 6:00PM-8:00PM
*Register online by February 11th (Free)
 
Winthrop
Winthrop Senior Center
35 Harvard Street
Winthrop, MA 02152
Wednesday, March 16th 10:30AM-12:00PM
Calendar: MOD Regional Meeting
 
When:  Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Where:  Levi Lincoln  Chambers, Room 309, Worcester City Hall, 455 Main Street, Worcester, 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 Worcester Commission on Disabilities. 

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 March 2, 2016 at the above number. Please advise me no later than March 2, 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 Worcester 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
jeff.dougan@state.ma.us

Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-727-7440
Fax: 617-727-0965
www.mass.gov/mod
Calendar:  The BCIL Marie Feltin Award

When:   Friday, March 18, 2016 from 6 P.M. - 9 P.M.
 
Where:  Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel Ballroom,
138 St James Ave, Boston, MA 02116

This year's honorees are:

Kate Nordahl - Spirited Leader for Innovative Medicaid Policy and Programs in Massachusetts

Neil Cronin - Tenacious Activist and Strategist for Disability, HIV, and Poverty Issues for Three Decades

Peggy Johnson and Lauren Easton - Inspired Champions and Designers of Community-Based Mental Health Services

This event honors individuals and institutions who exemplify the pioneering spirit of the late Dr. Marie Feltin, a tireless advocate for disabled and chronically ill patients. Marie was a founder of Boston's Community Medical Group, East Boston Health Center's Home Care Program and the Urban Medical Group, neighborhood healthcare services that focused on encouraging patients to become actively involved in their care as a critical means to bettering their health. Marie was always available for her patients and was a modern day pioneer in providing medical are to society's most neglected and vulnerable populations.

The ceremony is held in support of BCIL, and as a tribute to Marie's legacy which epitomizes BCIL's mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to take control of their lives and live independently. BCIL promotes the civil rights of all people with disabilities and its energized advocacy supports and helps create equal access to healthcare, affordable housing, accessible transportation, and ADA compliance for thousands of Greater Boston residents each year, leading many to jobs, an education, and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.

For sponsorship information, tickets, or questions about the event, please contact Susan Smith at 617-338-6665 x232 or by email at ssmith@bostoncil.org.
Research Volunteers Needed: PAS (PCA) Users Needed  

The Community Living Policy Center at the University of California, San Francisco with partners including DREDF has received IRB approval from UCSF to conduct interviews with a diverse group of personal assistance services (PAS) users to learn more about what they want, if anything, in terms of PAS worker training. As you know, there is a national move to standardize worker training and much, though not all, of what is being done already or is proposed has a decidedly medical model slant. The CLPC is conducting this qualitative consumer study to add a consumer voice and viewpoint to the discussion.

I would appreciate it if you would share the attached flyer with colleagues and community members who use paid PAS announcing the study and seeking people to be interviewed. Interviews should take about 30 - 45 minutes and will be conducted by phone. Any needed accommodations will be provided. Interviewees will receive a $25 Target gift card. Please note that if people are interested in participating, they should contact CLPC directly at the email address or telephone numbers at the bottom of the flyer. 
Election News: First-Ever #PwDsVote Scorecard Released:Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Triumph in Scores

Washington, Jan. 30 - RespectAbility has released the first-ever  #PwDsVote 2016 Campaign Scorecard  for people with disabilities (PwDs).

"Fully one-out-of-five voters have a disability, and 52 percent of likely voters have a loved one with a disability. There are 56 million Americans with disabilities, and we have the ability to determine who wins or loses elections," RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi said. "In the early voting states there are 357,730 people with a disability in Iowa, 166,258 PwDs in New Hampshire, 680,038 PwDs in South Carolina and 357,035 PwDs in Nevada. Our community will play a major role in the outcome of this election, and it is vital for us to know where the candidates stand on our issues."
 
The scorecard asked all of the presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle to comment on  16 disability questions . Candidates earned points if they had a plan on an issue regardless of the substance of that plan. Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton  and Sen. Bernie Sanders  tied with a 100 percent score and former Gov. Jeb Bush  resoundingly led the Republican field with a 94 percent score. While there are three candidates with extremely high scores, they have dramatically different ideas about how to deal with the issues. It's extremely important to read to their full answers so that you can understand their important differences. Issues in the detailed scorecard include employment, stigma, education, safety, transportation, housing, healthcare, foreign affairs and other issues. Several of the candidates did not yet take the time to fill out the scorecard, signaling their lack of initial commitment to the issues and causing them to score zero percent. Dr. Ben Carson  and Gov. Chris Christie  filled out parts of the scorecard. All of the candidates are invited to complete the scorecard in the days ahead in order to improve their scores and connect with voters with disabilities.

RespectAbility will release a New Hampshire scorecard before that pivotal primary. The scorecard is being distributed to more than 50,000 people who care about disability issues, more than ten thousand of whom live in the early primary states and the heads of more than 100 national disability organizations, many of whom will share with their own lists. RespectAbility also is placing online ads sharing the scorecard. 
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Malden, MA 02148
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