September 25, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


We are starting to get that nip of fall in the air.  It won't be long until the leaves are bright and colorful again.  

There is a State House hearing this week on Assisted Suicide.  I hope you can attend.  We also got word this week that there will be a hearing in October on proposed regulations for arbitration in cases where wheelchairs are modified and the customer is not satisfied.

We have a couple of news stories for you.  We also have a job posting.  There are elections on Tuesday.  If you have not registered to vote please do so soon to vote in November.

Lastly, I also want to remind you that the Eventbrite website for our Annual Reception and Awards Ceremony is now live.  You can buy your tickets, place an ad or make a donation here .  
As always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
Net News: Police Need to Understand Autism

Recently, the New York Times had an editorial by Steve Silberman.  It is a very good editorial outlining the present problem of police violence against people of color and those with disabilities.

Mr. Silberman is the author of the book "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity."

Net News: Disability Backlog Tops 1 Million People, At Least 7,400 Dead  

According to a story by CBS News, the wait list for an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing for Social Security benefits ranges from 11-25 months.  And it takes six months to even get to the point where you can request a hearing by an ALJ.

Employment Opportunity:  Technology Skills Instructor at Carroll Center

We seek a Technology Skills Instructor to work with students who range in age from 14 - 90 and teach a wide variety of nonvisual skills related to accessible means for personal computer use, smartphone use, notetaking techniques, Braille, paper/digital record keeping skills as well as approaches for accessing print. The Technology Skills Instructor will evaluate students' progress, make recommendations and present at department meetings. The Department uses a team-based approach, where all instructors collaborate closely across training disciplines of the Vision Rehab Staff and work together to best support consumer skill development and emotional adjustment to vision loss.

Qualifications: Successful candidate must have a Bachelor's Degree combined with a minimum of two years' experience working with blind/visually impaired adults and teaching current Windows OS, Microsoft Office products, typing, smartphones & notetaking techniques, paper/digital record keeping skills as well as approaches for accessing print. Experience teaching Braille and Apple computer operating systems a plus. Must be energetic, creative, and enthusiastic as well as possess excellent oral/written skills and be a team player.

We offer a generous benefits package and are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Qualified applicants kindly submit a cover letter and resume to
Advocacy Opportunity:  Rev Up, Register and Vote  

Celebrate democracy in America by registering to vote on September 26, 2017.

Have you moved since the last Election Day?

Make sure you're registered to vote with your new address!

Register in September to vote in November!

Register Now

Did you know REV UP MA is helping register voters with disabilities in our community?

REV UP Massachusetts.  Rev UP is a national voter registration effort to bring people with disabilities into the civic arena.  The DPC is a part of this effort in Massachusetts.
Advocacy Opportunity:  
State Health Assessment - 
Public Input Needed by  September 26 !


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is in the process of updating our State Health Assessment, and we're looking for your input! I wanted to make sure that folks got this link, because it's essential that the disability community have a voice here. For more information, a link to the updated State Health Assessment report, and the survey we're using to collect your feedback, please visit here. Please note that I am not the main contact for this initiative; I'm just the messenger. Feel free to pass this e-mail along to your networks - we can only use input that's actually given to us, and we can only get that if people know to give it!

Thanks very much!


Rachel Tanenhaus

Rachel H. Tanenhaus, MPH
Program Coordinator
Health and Disability Program (HDP)
Office of Health Equity (OHE)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)
Calendar:  Assisted Suicide Hearing 

When:  Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 10:30 A.M.  (Hearing starts at 11 A.M.)

Where:  Massachusetts State House, 1st Floor Hearing Rooms A1 & A2
RIDE Users: Use drop off at 122 Bowdoin St., Capitol Coffee House

Hearing on Assisted Suicide bills H.1194/S.1225

Joint Committee on Public Health

Two identical assisted suicide bills have been filed: H.1194/S.1225, "End-Of-Life Options Act." The DPC opposes this bill.

We work in cooperation with Second Thoughts Massachusetts. Contact John Kelly at Second Thoughts Massachusetts, for more information.

We are trying to get as high a turnout for the hearing, because it's one time the politicians have to pay attention to us. Your attendance will make a difference!

If you can, try to arrive at 10:30 AM or even 10 AM so that we can find seats in the hearing room. It would be great if you could testify (three minute maximum!) or submit written testimony, which can be sent in any time between now and the first week of October. Written testimony can be submitted instead of, or along with, oral testimony. Because people only have three minutes to testify, some write longer written testimony.

Send written testimony to John Kelly, or you can go ahead and submit it directly to the committee chairs, Senate Chair Sen. Jason Lewis and House Chair Rep. Kate Hogan. Attachments are preferred, but text in the email body is also fine. A subject line could be "Opposing H.1194/S.1225".

Please ask every disability rights advocate and ally you know to come.

Thank you,
John Kelly
Second Thoughts Massachusetts
Calendar:  ACB Conference Call on Roundabouts  

When:  Saturday, September 30, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 P.M.

The American Council of the Blind Transportation Committee and the American Council of the Blind Environmental Access Committee are co-sponsoring a conference call on roundabouts on Saturday September 30 2017 from 2-4PM EST

Roundabouts are one of the newest types of intersections and they pose some major obstacles for the blind. Do you know what they are? Are they in your community yet? Do you want to learn more about them? Do you want to discuss current designs and pedestrian access? There will be a panel discussion including experts on what roundabouts are and what designs are best for those of us who are blind. (During the panel discussion lines will be muted so everyone can hear.)

After the panel has completed their presentations lines will be opened up for questions. Please join us and bring any questions you may have.

The phone numbers to participate are as follows:
605-475-4120, Pin Number: 818-9279

If you are a T Mobile Customer please use the number below:
605-475-2880, Pin Number: 818-9279

Our distinguished panel members include,

Janet M Barlow
Accessible Design for The Blind

Lucas Frank
The Seeing Eye

Bastian Schroeder, PE, Phd
Principle Engineer
Kittelson and Associates Inc.
Transportation Engineering/ Planning

Mike Goehring
Guiding Eyes
Field Representative

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their participation.

This notice is also posted on our website at:
Calendar:  Notice of Proposed Hearing Customized Wheelchair Arbitration

Notice of Public Hearing

Pursuant to the provisions of M.G.L., c. 93, §107 and in accordance with M.G.L., c. 30A, a public hearing will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., 10 Park Plaza, 2nd Floor, Conference Rooms 2 and 3, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 at which the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation will receive oral comments relative to the promulgation of the proposed regulation 201 CMR 13.00: Customized Wheelchair Arbitration.

The purpose of 201 CMR 13.00  : Customized Wheelchair Arbitration is to implement M.G.L., c. 93, §107 and provide procedures for the operation of a state-administered customized wheelchair arbitration program within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to consider disputes arising from a consumer's private purchase or lease of a new, but defective, customized wheelchair when the consumer has paid all or some costs out of pocket. The regulation provides the requirements for arbitration requests and the procedural options available to the parties and the arbitrator. It also sets forth requirements for manufacturers, retailers, and lessors and includes an enforcement provision at the discretion of the MA Attorney General.

Changes to the proposed regulation may be made based on comments received at the public hearing or during the comment period.

Written comments may be submitted to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, 501 Boylston Street, Suite 5100, Boston, MA 02116 or at 
until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 20, 2017.  A copy of the proposed regulation is available at, and copies may be obtained from, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation or at
Lisa Weber
Lemon Law Program Coordinator
Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation
10 Park Plaza Room 5170
Boston, MA 02116
In This Issue
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Disability Policy Consortium
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Malden, MA 02148
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