October 16, 2017
Disability Policy Consortium Weekly Update


Last  Thursday evening, more than 100 people gathered for the DPC Award Ceremony and Annual Event.  Wow!  What a magical evening it was.  We honored the work of three incredible disability rights advocates: Chris Griffin, Jim Kruidenier and Heather Watkins.

We have an opportunity for you to help shape four Home and Community Based Services waiver renewals.  We also have an opportunity for you to participate in a free webinar on money management.

We have a couple of news articles for you and a bunch of calendar events.
As always happy reading.

John Winske
Disability Policy Consortium
DPC News:  Annual Awards Ceremony Was A Magical Evening 

Man with red hair wearing a suit jacket and tie holding an award under a banner with the DPC logo.
Jim Kruidenier with his award

African American woman with her hair in a bun sitting in a wheelchair with a spotted blouse and jacket smiling with award
Heather Watkins accepts her award

On Thursday more than 100 people gathered at the Non-Profit Center in Boston to pay homage to three incredible disability rights advocates.

The DPC highlighted the remarkable work of Heather Watkins, Jim Kruidenier and Christine Griffin.  Each of the honorees has contributed to our struggle for equality in their own way.  

Many sponsors made this event possible.  We want to thank our our leading sponsors Commonwealth Care Alliance, Partners Health Care/Spaulding Rehabilitation, Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Health Management Associates and Boston Center for Independent Living.

In addition to highlighting some of our finest leaders, the event raised more than $37,000 for DPC's advocacy efforts.  We offer our sincere thanks to our honorees for allowing us to share their great work and all those who joined us on this special night.
Advocacy Opportunity:  Public Input Process for Home- and Community-Based Services Waiver Renewal Applications

MassHealth is working with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to renew four Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers: 
  1. Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Residential Habilitation Waiver
  2. ABI Non-Residential Habilitation Waiver
  3. Money Follows the Person (MFP) Residential Supports Waiver
  4. MFP Community Living Waiver
As part of the waiver renewal process, MassHealth plans to request CMS approval of continued growth of waiver capacity, as well as certain updates to the MFP and ABI waivers as summarized below:

MFP Waivers
  • Change the name of the waivers to the Moving Forward Plan Community Living (MFP-CL) Waiver and the Moving Forward Plan Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver
  • Replace four managed behavioral health waiver services with a new behavioral health waiver service, Community Behavioral Health Support and Navigation (CBHSN)
  • Add Community Based Day Supports (CBDS) as a new waiver service
  • Add a new service limit precluding the provision of Day Services on the same day as CBDS, Supported Employment, or Pre-Vocational Services, and establishing an overall aggregate service limit of 156 hours per month for these services
  • Technical corrections and clarifications
ABI Waivers
  • Allow submission of applications for the ABI waivers prior to a person's 90th day in a facility
  • Add CBDS as a new waiver service
  • Add a new service limit precluding the provision of Day Services on the same day as CBDS or Supported Employment, and establishing an overall aggregate service limit of 156 hours per month for these services
  • Technical corrections and clarifications
To view or download the full waiver renewal application   documents, visit MassHealthealths website here :

Hard copies of these documents are available upon request. Please email or send a written request:

* By e-mail: HCBSWaivers@State.MA.US
* By regular mail: HCBS Waiver Unit
1 Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Send Us Your Comments

We invite public comment on the draft waiver renewal applications before we submit them to CMS. Please send your comments to us
* By e-mail: HCBSWaivers@State.MA.US
* By regular mail: HCBS Waiver Unit
1 Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
* In person, orally or in writing, at a public forum:

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 10:30 A.M.
Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room
3 Salem Square
Worcester, MA 01608

Please note: Comments must be submitted by Friday, November 10, 2017.
Learning Opportunity:  Free Financial Webinar for People with Disabilities

Join Easterseals, a leading service provider for people with disabilities and Veterans, and Freddie Mac, a leader in the housing industry and key source of financial education, for a webinar about what steps to take to gain better control of your finances.

Thursday, October 19 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Central Time

The first in a series, this free webinar will cover:
  • Credit and finance basics, including your financial rights and responsibilities
  • Tips for planning your financial future, including how to manage income, compensation, and caregiving costs
  • Valuable money management resources you may need along the way and how to find them
Easterseals and Freddie Mac will address the unique financial questions of caregivers, people with disabilities and Veterans, and give you the chance to ask questions about what's top of mind for you.

Note: All registrants will receive an email in advance of the webinar that includes presentation slides and notes, along with additional handouts to help make the webinar easily accessible to anyone interested in joining.

Contact Webinar@easterseals.com for more information or to register. Requests for accommodations should be made by October 10th.

141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1400A, Chicago, IL 60604 | 800-221-6827 (toll-free)

Easterseals and its affiliate organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
Net News:  The Conundrum of Consent, Care, and Disability

Emily Wolinsky of Texas has emerged as one of my favorite writers with a disability.  She dives into the heart of issues confronting people requiring hands on Long Term Care Services in the community.  This article on Medium is a classic example of her ability to boil down issues in a humorous but serious manner.  You can read it here.
Net News: NYC's Deplorable Sidewalks and Curb Cuts

Anyone who has visited to New York City knows that the sidewalks and curb cuts are in deplorable condition.  The lack of accessibility is shocking.  The New York Times ran a story recently on the issue and pending litigation.  You can read it here.
Net News:  Social Security Payments to Increase by 2%

Press Release: 

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
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 www.mass.gov/ocabr
Lisa Weber
Lemon Law Program Coordinator
Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation
10 Park Plaza Room 5170
Boston, MA 02116
Calendar: White Cane Safety Day at the State House

When:  Monday, October 23, 2017, 10:00 A.M. - Noon

Where:  Grand Hall, Massachusetts State House, Boston, 
24 Beacon St., Boston 02133 

Ride Drop drop off area at 126 Bowdoin St. 

October 15 is White Cane Safety Day. This year's State House celebration will take place on Monday, October 23, (see below for more details.)

Please Come to Celebrate
International White Cane Day
Celebrate the independence of white canes and raise public awareness of the White Cane Law!

Show Your Independence!

White Cane & Guide Dog Users Bring Family, Friends, Orientation & Mobility Specialists, Vision Professionals, and Others to raise White Cane Awareness!

For more information on this Celebration or to request an accommodation, contact the Orientation and Mobility, Department at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
617-626-7581 or 800-392-6450 x626-7581 before 10/10/17

Massachusetts White Cane Law: General Law Chapter 90 Section 14A Stop for White Cane and Dog Guide Users at Street Crossings-It's the LAW!
Calendar: Getting Involved in Local Government: An Interactive Workshop on Title II of the ADA

When:  Tuesday, October 24th, from 2 - 4 pm

Where:  Boston City Hall, 5th Floor 

This event aims to break down barriers that keep people with disabilities from participating in civic processes.

Some of the interactive activities will include:
* Register to vote
* Try out a voting booth
* Demo the the AUTOmark machine
* Learn ways to testify at a hearing
* Find your polling place
* Meet your City Councilor
* Speak to City Officials about disability concerns
* Apply to serve on a City Board or Commission
* And lots more!

This event is free and open to all, although it will be especially valuable for individuals with disabilities, elders, family members, transition-age youth (ages 18-24), disabled veterans, immigrants & new residents of Boston, professionals in the disability field, and anyone else who is involved with the disability community!

I'd like to ask you to send the attached flyer to your contact lists - we're hoping for a great turnout!

Thank you.

Commissioner Kristen McCosh
Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities
617.635.3682 (w)
617.635.2541 (tty)
617.635.2726 (fax)
Calendar:  World of Careers

When:  Thursday, November 16, 10:00 A.M. - 2:30 P.M.

Where:  District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

Our Space Our Place and its partners are very excited to announce the World of Careers Workshop.

Cost: Free

This workshop is for students and adults with disabilities who want to know more about the types of jobs in the working world and who want to figure out how to use their interests and experiences to get a job.
Attend the World of Careers workshop and learn
  • About the many types of jobs which exists
  • Meet people working today and ask them questions about how they got their job and what they do every day at work and
  • Work together with others to find out how your interests and skills can assist you to find a job
Light breakfast and lunch will be available.

Please let us know about your accommodation needs by Thursday October 26, 2017

To get more information:
Call: (617) 459-4084
Email: President@ourspaceourplace.org
To register for World of Careers workshop

Reader's digest- Partners for Sight Foundation

Boston Center for Blind Children

Our Space Our Place, Inc.
Calendar: Open Captioned/ASL Interpreted The Color Purple  

When:  Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 7:30 P.M.

Where:  The Boch Center, Shubert Theater

2016 Tony Winner Best Musical Revival

Purchase tickets today for the ASL Interpreted / Open Captioned performance of The Color Purple. All seats are located in the Orchestra (floor level) and are in direct sight line of the ASL Interpreter.

The Color Purple is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as "a direct hit to the heart" (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic has conquered Broadway in an all-new "ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold" (The New York Times) directed by Tony winner John Doyle.

With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, The Color Purple gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

Don't miss this stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman's journey to love and triumph in the American South. It's the musical sensation that New York Magazine calls "one of the greatest revivals ever." Experience the exhilarating power of this Tony winning

Tickets are $46.50

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