2009 Annual Report
Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council

SRC Chairperson's Message
About the Agency
Fiscal Year 2009 SRC Activities and Accomplishments
Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council (SRC)

SRC Members

SRC Chairperson's Message

The Honorable Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts
State House Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Patrick:

It is a pleasure to present to you the Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council Annual Report for fiscal year 2009.

This report contains critical information highlighting the accomplishments of the Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council (SRC). The goal of the SRC is to advise the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) on its federal mandate ensuring that citizens of the Commonwealth with disabilities receive the necessary vocational rehabilitation services to maximize their employment opportunities. Through the activities of the Council, SRC members make sure vocational rehabilitation programs are delivered with respect to individual dignity and informed consumer choice.

This year had its tribulations and challenges. Many of us remember fiscal year 2009 as a year of significant economic recession.

At the end of the fiscal year, the MRC-SRC is still working with your administration on the gubernatorial appointments of our members. We did receive some positive activities from your office, but the appointment procedure is incomplete. The lack of statutory appointments has negatively affected the ability of the SRC to have a full slate of members.

The SRC continues to hold its quarterly meetings in the regional communities. We held four community meetings across the Commonwealth providing the consumers opportunities to be engaged in the business of the SRC. We had a focused strategic planning meeting and our 5 standing committees continued to deliberate on policy, regulations and practices of the MRC. We collaborated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the MRC to host two different strategic planning meetings with great success. We are very fortunate to be able to build on such partnerships during these difficult times of economic shortfalls. We continue to partner with Northeastern University in the planning and conducting of our Annual Conference. A diverse group of over 350 professionals and people with disabilities attended the conference last year.

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the relationship we have with our State Independent living Council, the MRC staff and most importantly with the members of the Council. I look forward to a better year where the SRC will continue to build strong relationships that will provide meaningful employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Sincerely,
Youcef "Joe" Bellil
SRC Chairperson

CC: Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, Secretary
Executive Office of Health and Human Services


About the Agency

The Agency: the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is comprised of the following three (3) divisions:

  • The Public Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division
  • The Community Living Services Division
  • The State Disability Determination Services Division

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission was founded in 1956 for the purpose of assisting people with disabilities to secure gainful and competitive employment. The mission of the agency has been greatly expanded throughout the years. The Disability Determination Services Division was established in the late 1950s and the Community Living Division was developed in the mid 1980's.

Today, the purpose of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is to provide comprehensive services with and for people with disabilities that will maximize their quality of life and economic self-sufficiency in the community. This is accomplished through multiple programs in the three divisions of the MRC.

Approximately 12% of the state population have a disability and there are more than 736,000 individuals with disabilities living in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission serves consumers with a range of disabilities and chronic diseases, including but not limited, to orthopedic disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, substance abuse, learning disabilities, developmental delays, sensory disabilities and neurological disabilities, including impairments caused by brain and spinal cord injury.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program

The Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) program is a federal-state partnership focused on individuals with significant physical and/or mental disabilities who wish to attain part or full time employment in the community.

The vision of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program is "to promote equality, empowerment and productive independence of individuals with disabilities through organizational innovation committed to creating options that enhance personal and informed choice and risk-taking."

State VR 2009 Consumer Service Outcomes

In State Fiscal Year 2009 (July 1, 2008 -June 30, 2009), the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program trained and assisted over 3200 individuals with significant disabilities to graduate from the MRC-VRS Program and attain community based competitive employment.

The earnings of these rehabilitated employees in MA in the first year were $56.1 million.

Estimated public benefits savings from people rehabilitated in MA were $26.9 million.

Average Hourly Wage: $12.43
Average Work Hours Weekly: 28.4

Return on the Dollar

For the federal-state appropriations and allotments invested in the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, the nationwide return on investment last federal fiscal year was:

  • $330 million paid in federal taxes by Vocational Rehabilitation Program graduates who entered part or full time employment.
  • $360 million paid in Social Security taxes.
  • $110 million paid in state income taxes.
Benchmarks of the Program

Included in the measurements regarding success of the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program are the:

  • Numbers of graduates entering part or full time competitive employment in the community.
  • Numbers and percent of graduates who are individuals with significant disabilities.
  • Number of graduates who are people who received Social Security benefits (such as SSI or SSDI).
  • Number of graduates who were people who received Commonwealth Public Assistance Services (such as AFDC).
  • Improvement in wage earnings.
  • Numbers of individuals working at least 35 hours per week.
  • Numbers needing to re-enter the VR Program.
  • Number of graduates versus the number of staff who work with, or on behalf of, consumers in the VRS Program.
Special Services

The MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, which includes the expanded Community Living Services Division, has special services for MRC consumers, including:

  • Assistance and information about SSI Work Incentives, including ways the Social Security Administration, in cooperation with MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, can assist in phasing-out from the SSI and SSDI Programs.
  • The Van Modification Program for eligible Vocational Rehabilitation consumers who are ready for employment. This program provides funds to adapt vans for individuals with physical disabilities who need to enter/exit, be a driver or passenger and be secure in their van.
  • The Adaptive Housing Program involves an architect who may design and arrange construction/modifications to the home's entrance and bathroom for an eligible Vocational Rehabilitation consumer.
  • Post Employment Services to consumers who graduate from the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and find a need for additional services from the MRC.
  • MassMATCH works to put assistive technology "AT" into the hands of people with disabilities. AT is any item or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the capabilities of people with disabilities. AT can help people participate and be more independent in school, at home, at work, and in the community.

Fiscal Year 2009 SRC Activities and Accomplishments

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Annual Meeting was conducted on September 10, 2009. At that meeting, the SRC elected its Executive Committee as called for in the SRC By-Laws. The following SRC officers were elected accordingly:

  • Chairperson Joseph Bellil
  • Vice Chairperson Warren Magee
  • Secretary Owen Doonan
  • First Member-at-Large Vacant
  • Second Member-at-Large Vacant

For FY2009 the Council's Executive Committee will conduct SRC meetings in the Vocational Rehabilitation geographical districts as follows:

  • March 12, 2009 Boston Region
  • June 11, 2009 North Region
  • September 10, 2009 West Region
  • December 10, 2009 South Region

The State Rehabilitation Council carried out its advisory business in four full Council meetings during the fiscal year. The generic nature of the agenda is as follows:

  • Chair opens the meeting
  • Acceptance of the last SRC meeting minutes
  • Chair's Report
  • MRC Commissioner's Report
  • Standing Committees' Reports
  • Break
  • Open Microphone - Consumer Open Forum
  • Regional Consumer Advisory Council's Report
  • Announcements

Massachusetts State Rehabilitation Council (SRC)

Mission

Our Mission is to partner with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to support and advise the agency in the provision of high quality, value-based vocational rehabilitation services that lead to meaningful and sustainable competitive employment for consumers.

Vision

Our Vision is to provide a dynamic pathway to economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities to break the historic bonds of poverty.

Strategic Plan Outcomes
Goal #1 The SRC will organize itself consistent with its mission, vision, and mandate.
  • By December 2009, the SRC will review and revise its organizational structure to assure consistency with its current mandate, mission, and vision.
  • By June 2010, the SRC will evaluate and update its composition of task forces, councils, committees, and membership.
  • By September 2010, the SRC will recruit corporate and consumer members to support implementation of its new vision, and to reflect the diversity and desired skill sets of the group that is required by its bylaws.
Goal #2 The SRC will advocate for the support of programs leading to meaningful and sustainable competitive employment.
  • By June 2010, the SRC will develop an advocacy strategy regarding post employment planning for people with cognitive disabilities.
  • By June 2010, the SRC will seek a report from the Commissioner regarding access to ongoing long-term support for people in supported employment programs.
  • By June 2010 The SRC will study and advise the Commissioner to adopt new policy and regulations to ensure that a meaningful transitional plan for employment opportunities are available to people newly entering the system through transitional programs for youth with disabilities.
  • By June 2010 the SRC will study the development and refinement of employer education programs on support service options and resources.
  • On an ongoing basis, the SRC will conduct advocacy to assure people with disabilities are able to choose employment opportunities based on their individual "career goals," rather than just on "work."
  • On an ongoing basis, the SRC will conduct advocacy to assure sufficient funds are available to support the technology costs associated with employment and supported living for people with disabilities.
Goal #3 The SRC will advocate on behalf of policies that increase funding for, and awareness of, services that benefit people with disabilities.
  • At a minimum, the SRC will annually develop legislative priorities for advocacy and advocate for it.
  • On an ongoing basis, the SRC will advocate for appropriate levels of funding at the Federal and State level for those disproportionately affected by budget cuts.
  • The SRC will advocate for changing the formula for distribution of funding and reallocation monies.
Goal #4 The SRC will encourage the MRC to expand its partnerships in the community.
  • By October 2010, the SRC will study a strategy to work closely with career centers to enhance job searches for people with disabilities.
  • By October 2010, the SRC will recommend to the Commissioner a strategy to encourage private businesses and organizations to make available goods and services to support rehabilitation efforts.
  • By October 2010, the SRC will recommend to the Commissioner strategies to partner with other State agency divisions and other organizations to support consumers.
  • By October 2010 the SRC will advise the Commissioner on ways to develop a better agency image. This will include assessing agency capacity and the provision of advocacy and community education/marketing.
Goal #5 The SRC will write strategic plans and a state plan every three years.
  • On an ongoing basis, the SRC will review and revise its strategic plans as a basis for its new three-year state plan.

2009 State Rehabilitation Council Impact

The SRC Executive Committee maintained its directives to the standing committee chairs through the strategic plan and building on commitment to quality rehabilitation services for MRC consumers.

The chairs were directed to foster partnership with sister agencies, higher education institutions, the Governor's Office on Employment of People with Disabilities and the newly formed Employment Now Coalition.

The works and accomplishments of the standing committees are as follows:

Consumer Satisfaction Committee

Mission:

The mission of the Consumer Satisfaction Committee (CSC) of the Massachusetts SRC is to ensure that consumer perspectives are included in the process of evaluating MRC consumer satisfaction and to serve in an advisory capacity to improve services provided to consumers.
To achieve this mission, the CSC will work in collaboration with the Research, Evaluation and Development Department of the MRC to develop/refine evaluation tools and analyze/interpret data collected for the purposes of assessing consumer satisfaction with services provided by vocational rehabilitation staff and contracted service providers.

In accordance with federal regulations, the State Rehabilitation Council has been mandated to conduct annual surveys of consumer satisfaction since 1995. In Massachusetts, this is a consumer-led, cooperative effort between MRC staff and consumers on the SRC Consumer Satisfaction Committee.

This collaboration has led to the creation, fine tuning and distribution of a survey methodology and questionnaire, followed by a careful analysis of the results and production of a final report. Some consumer members' duties were compensated through the MRC Consumer Involvement Program's Individual Consumer Consultant (ICC) budget.

Each year the research staff of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission has provided guidance and assistance to the SRC in this effort.

The Consumer Satisfaction Committee surveyed 1,223 consumers about the positive experiences of being an MRC consumer and how they can improve in 2008, and found that consumer satisfaction was higher in 2008 than in several years past, in spite of high unemployment and loss of MRC resources. The final Consumer Satisfaction Survey report for 2008 revealed strengths and weakness of the MRC, and the Consumer Satisfaction Committee provided a series of recommendations to the SRC to improve service provision in a number of areas.

However the 2008 Consumer Satisfaction Survey showed that satisfaction was much lower among unsuccessfully closed cases, and the Consumer Satisfaction Committee pursued its long standing interest in unsuccessfully closed cases and their status and characteristics by supporting the efforts of the SRC Underserved and Unserved Committee in conducting their focus groups among this population.

The Consumer Satisfaction Committee shaped the Consumer Satisfaction Survey of the future by creating questionnaires for the new format of next year measuring satisfaction not only among consumers, but among counselors and providers as well.

The Consumer Satisfaction Committee members also promoted previous survey findings and worked to advocate the importance of the job placement specialists, who have been receiving national recognition for the importance of their role in achieving successful employment closures for consumers.

Unserved/Underserved Population Committee

Mission:

The mission of this Committee is to advise the MRC regarding residents of the Commonwealth who are unserved/underserved due to their disabilities, culture, ethnicity, race, language, creed, religion, class, sexual preference, age or economic status.

In accordance with the mandates of the reauthorized Rehabilitation Act, Titles 1, 6c and 7, this Committee is charged with ensuring issues of unserved/underserved populations of the Commonwealth are researched, studied and presented to the State Rehabilitation Council.

Goals & Accomplishments:

The goal was to start a series of focus groups in all five regions.
We finalized the plans to have three focus groups instead.

Joint Committee on VR State Plan & Interagency Relations

Mission:

To ensure the SRC meets its obligations regarding input from consumers in the development of both the MRC Public Vocational Rehabilitation State Plan and the United Workforce State Plan in order to promote the employment and independent living needs of people with disabilities across the Commonwealth.

The SRC, through its area consumer advisory councils, SRC standing committees, task forces, SRC quarterly meetings and the annual consumer conference, have conducted surveys and needs assessments that have provided input to more effectively address the needs of individuals with the most significant disabilities. The SRC, through the SRC State Plan committee, has made the following recommendations to the Commission:

  • Recommendation 1: Network and collaborate more effectively with the one-stop career centers and other sources of employment opportunities.
  • Recommendation 2: Improve counselor training on home based and self-employment to assist and support consumers, including artists with disabilities, who choose self or home based employment as a career goal.
  • Recommendation 3: Outreach to local schools to improve services for transitioning students with disabilities.
  • Recommendation 4: Train Commission staff on LD/ADHD, brain injuries, phobias, chemical sensitivities and other disabilities.
  • Recommendation 5: Educate Commission staff and consumers about CORI (Criminal Offender Record System) and how to develop strategies to reduce its impact on the employment of individuals with the most significant disabilities.
  • Recommendation 6: Explore jobs in green technology, bio- technology and the sciences for VR consumers.

The Policy and Regulations Committee

Mission:

To advise and assist in the development of the agency's policies and regulations, including, but not limited to, scheduling procedures for public input and publications in the Massachusetts Register by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

This year the SRC Policy & Regulations Committee, working with the MRC policy development officer, revised the MRC Extended Employment Program policy and regulations.

History:

The Extended Employment Program (EEP) was enacted in 1973. The purpose of this program was to provide employment opportunities for individuals with severe disabilities who could not achieve competitive employment. These work opportunities were developed within sheltered workshops.

At its peak in 1989, the EEP program had 1,850 participants, with more than 400 individuals on the wait list. Today, there are 762 individuals in the program and, although 250 are experiencing some form of community based employment through work crews and enclaves, they fall far short in achieving integrated competitive/supported employment opportunities.

Over the years, the MRC has established internal goals, provided educational seminars, technical assistance, initiated numerous policy and procedural incentives to both the Community Rehabilitation Providers and consumers, to promote transition to integrated competitive supported employment. These initiatives have produced moderate success (127 individuals have moved into supported employment, about 12% in-the past seven years).

The MRC Commissioner made a pronounced presentation to the SRC Executive Committee and shared his rationale why we need to consider closing sheltered employment. The SRC advised the Commissioner and supported a new EEP program of work support services to enable individuals with disabilities to enter and maintain paid work as participants of a community rehabilitation provider. Work support services include, but are not limited to, job coaching, job development, case management, job modifications, referrals for other services, and employer education.

The SRC Executive Committee and the Policy & Regulation Committee determined:

(1) Federal regulations defining successful vocational rehabilitation (VR) employment outcomes were changed effective October 1, 2001 to exclude employment in non-integrated settings. This was to ensure that individuals with significant disabilities have greater opportunities to pursue competitive and supported employment.

(2) For some individuals, extended or non-integrated employment can be an initial step toward achieving integrated employment under the VR program and a long-term employment option through sources of support other than the VR program; therefore, individuals may still choose long-term employment services outside of the VR program. When an individual chooses extended employment, the Commission must make a referral to a local extended employment provider.

(3)The SRC advised and supported the agency's decision that as of February 1, 2008 the MRC would no longer accept referrals to the EEP.

The Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Committee

Mission:

The SRC Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Joint Committee will provide support and guidance to the MRC and the full Council on related matters while identifying innovative solutions for, and the advancement of, vocational rehabilitation programs and the placement of people with disabilities into competitive employment.

Joint Committee on By-Laws and Nominations Committee

Mission:

To work toward the determination and selection of interested people eligible for membership in the State Rehabilitation Council in accordance with the SRC By-Laws.

Further, this committee meets with the MRC Consumer Involvement Director to develop a roster of interested people who would be appropriate for future SRC needs.

The Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Committee

Mission:

The SRC Finance/Budget & Placement/Marketing Joint Committee will provide support and guidance to the MRC and the full Council on related matters while identifying innovative solutions for, and the advancement of, vocational rehabilitation programs and the placement of people with disabilities into competitive employment.

Joint Committee on By-Laws and Nominations Committee

Mission:

To work toward the determination and selection of interested people eligible for membership in the State Rehabilitation Council in accordance with the SRC By-Laws.

Further, this committee meets with the MRC Consumer Involvement Director to develop a roster of interested people who would be appropriate for future SRC needs.

SRC Task Forces Accomplishments

Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (LD/ADHD) Task Force

Mission:

To promote education and advocacy of people with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD), to enhance community inclusion, independence and economic self-sufficiency.

Goals:

A. Improve the services the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission provides to consumers with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Objectives:

  • Promote the use of coaches with experience to assist consumers with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder so they may experience economic self-sufficiency and community inclusion.
  • Increase the number of consumers with LD/ADHD in achieving employment outcomes.
  • Coordinate training through the MRC Training Department in regard to serving the needs of consumers with LD/ADHD.
  • Identify unmet needs through a Needs Assessment Survey.
  • Establish support groups in the three MRC Regions.

B. Establish a working relationship with a broad range of organizations that assist consumers with LD/ADHD in achieving employment.

Transportation Task Force

Mission:

The mission of the Transportation Task Force is to educate people with disabilities as well as the general public, on statewide transportation options and issues and to empower these individuals and interested parties to advocate for these concerns.

Goals:

Identify transportation barriers as related to MRC consumers and employment.

Study why there is a lack of, or gaps in, transportation in many areas of the state. Provide some possible suggestions on how to resolve these concerns.
Study the state transportation system's budget, which is distributed in accordance with a predetermined formula, and look into the possibility of the funds being evenly distributed to benefit more consumers.

Activities:

Currently there are seventeen transportation authorities around the Commonwealth. This year the Transportation Task Force met with five of these:

  • The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA)
  • The Cape Ann Transit Authority (CATA)
  • The Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS)
  • The Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA)
  • The Metro West Regional Transit Authority and the Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority (MWRTA)

The purpose of these meetings was to identify the existing level of services, gaps and needs in the specific visited areas, the end result possibly being the sharing of ideas that worked well and the presentation of possible resolutions.

Findings:

  • Each RTA we visited has Disability Advisory Committees but does not provide services to all towns and cities in their service areas.
  • The fees for bus rates and paratransit services are similar for the BRTA and PVTA, but less for CATA and GLSS, GATRA and the MWRTA.
  • The hours of service vary per region and except for the PVTA and GATRA, others have no service on Sundays.
  • Each of the aforementioned transit authorities have their own application process, identification system and payment method.
Artists with Disabilities Task Force

Mission:

The Artists with Disabilities Task Force is a group of people from diverse disciplines working toward creating linkages between Artists with Disabilities and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. These linkages advance the goals of independence, self-support, and professional development in the art world.

2009 Objectives and Accomplishments:

  • Feature article in the Boston Globe: December 14, 2008 (interview date)
  • Exhibit at Brookline Village Library: November 15, 2008 - January 2, 2009
  • Exhibiting at the Miss Wheelchair Massachusetts Expo: March 29, 2009
  • Wholesale fair educational tour: March 31, 2009
  • The 6th Semi-Annual Open Studios: May 2, 2009
  • MRC Consumer Conference participation: June 18, 2009
  • AWDTF web-site approved to be created by the MRC: July 31, 2009
  • DeCordova Museum Picnic: August 1, 2009
  • Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Exhibit: Opening Reception on October 23, 2009 (3 months duration)
  • SRC-AWDTF Calendar 2010 project: To printer on November 2, 2009
  • The 7th Semi-Annual Open Studios: November 14, 2009
  • Consumer's Voice had a featured artist in each of the 3 yearly issues.
Home-Based & Self-Employment Task Force

Mission:

The Task Force mission is to identify and develop the essential elements needed to assess and train consumers to obtain and maintain home-based employment and/or self-employment outcomes.

Projects and Goals:

  • Task Force members continue to explore the current allowable level of funding and the waiver process in order to provide adequate funding to establish individual business ventures.
  • The Task Force advocates for the establishment of specialized job development and support services to address the unique requirements of self-employment in order to increase the level of successful outcomes.
  • The Task Force also seeks to establish and nurture consumer support groups comprised of people who have had successful home-based and self-employment outcomes.

Accomplishments:

We continue to collaborate with the Employment Now Consortium in which we act as advisors on self-employment issues. In this regard, we continue to advocate for the further enhancement of the Individual Consumer Consultants [ICC] program to serve State government, creating self employment opportunities for consumers as their preferred vocational outcome.

This year our chairperson provided an educational tele-workshop on self-employment and home-based employment to interested ADD, ADHD, and LD Task Force consumers.

Consumer Regional Council Reports

Taunton Advisory Council (TAC)

Mission:

The mission of the TAC is to provide assistance, consultation, and support to the VR office leadership in the areas of the office environment, the provision of customer services, and consumer advocacy.

Projects & Goals:

  • Familiarity with Project Impact [Benefits Planning]
  • Disability Services at local Career Centers
  • Serve as Host for One Statewide 'State Rehabilitation Council' [SRC] meeting
  • Awareness of VR legislation & possible advocacy
  • Office productivity
  • Participate in statewide SRC activities
  • Familiarity with the "Recovery Learning Center" & "Chronic Disease Self-Management Program"

Accomplishments:

  • On 1/12/09, the TAC members met with the new Unit Supervisor for the Taunton Office.
  • TAC members were briefed on 4/13/09 by a MRC Benefits Specialist for the Taunton/Fall River area with a presentation and handouts regarding "2009 Social Security and Work Incentives Update."
  • TAC members were also made aware of the ongoing progress of helping the local Career Centers serve individuals with disabilities at all TAC meetings. TheTaunton Area Director continues to serve as the Chairperson for the local WIB's Disability Action Committee.
  • On 7/13/09, a Guiding Council member from the local Recovery Learning Community provided an overview of the available services and programs via the RLC.
  • On 10/19/09, Coastline Elderly Services shared information regarding the new DPH sponsored program "Chronic Disease Self Management Program".
  • The membership was made aware of all legislation (national & state) impacting the delivery of VR services. The need to serve as advocates of the VR Program was addressed and methods of advocacy were reviewed.
  • At each meeting, the members reviewed office productivity, personnel changes and performance.
  • A significant number of the TAC members attended the statewide Consumer Conference on 6/18/09 in Boston. Two members of the TAC served on the conference planning with one being committee co-chair.
MetroWest Advisory Council

Mission:

The MetroWest Consumer Advisory Council represents 22 communities served by the Framingham Area Office of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Its mission is to recognize the need for action to be taken to improve the ability of the people with disabilities in these communities to live and work independently.

Council activities focus on advocacy, information sharing, transportation and outreach. The Individual Consumer Consultation model is employed to support Council projects and provide valuable technical assistance.

Objectives:

The Council's goals for 2009 were to:

  • Update the MetroWest Accessible Transportation Resource Guide
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority
  • Advocate for issues and funding that impact consumers in their daily lives
  • Maintain an ongoing relationship with the State Rehabilitation Council and the work of its task forces

Accomplishments:

The MetroWest Consumer Council was successful in 2009 in achieving the following:

  • A complete update of the MetroWest Accessible Transportation Resource Guide which is available in electronic (Word or PDF) format as well as hard copy.
  • Representation on the Consumer Advisory Committee to the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.
  • Hosting a meeting of the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority and the SRC Transportation Task Force.
  • Advocacy at the State Budget Hearings.
  • Advocacy for funding of the MetroWest Radio Reading service.
  • Liaison with the State Rehabilitation Council as well as its task forces on transportation and the annual conference.
  • Consultation and technical assistance on accessibility for the new area office space in Framingham by an Individual Consumer Consultant and a Community Access Monitor.
Home Care Assistance Program Advisory Committee

Mission:

The Advisory Committee to the statewide Home Care Assistance Program is comprised of consumers receiving home care services, past consumers, program staff, and representatives from provider agencies. The Committee meets quarterly at the MRC Administrative Office in Boston. As the program has had a focus on health and disability, a representative from the Department of Public Health's Office on Health and Disability has joined the Advisory Committee this year.

Objectives:

By encouraging dialogue among program staff, provider representatives and consumers of the Home Care Assistance Program, the intention of the Committee is to broaden our understanding of program strengths, areas for growth and to clarify priorities.

Accomplishments:

  • Provided input into and final approval of the Request for Response (RFR) for consumer-directed Home Care Assistants
  • Collaborated on compilation of the Resource Newsletter, focusing on finding ways to succeed during difficult economic times
  • Advised program management on spending plan for program, provided advice on methods of economizing, and had members provide testimony at budget hearings as to the effectiveness of services
  • Provided input into the development of Provider Quality Assurance procedures
  • Provided advice regarding wellness initiatives within the program, and methods for training provider staff
  • Provided input and advice to program management regarding the policy for termination of services when referred to Elder Services Home Care.

Statutory SRC Members

Name City/Town, Representation

Mark Bornemann Canton, Employer
Lisa Chiango Billerica, Advocate
James Connors Gardner, Employer
Owen Doonan Duxbury, Business/Advocate
Mike Ferriter Westborough, Advocate
Collen Flanagan Jamaica Plain, Advocate
Nicholas Kaltsas Worcester, Business
Lusa Lo Boston, Higher Education
Barbara Lybarger Quincy, CAP
Warren Magee Rockland, Advocate
Terri McLaughlin N. Andover, Parent Info Center
Amy Partelow Holyoke, Ex-officio, VR Counselor
Susan Ventura, PhD. Carlisle, Higher Education
Rosemarie Woods Rivera Holyoke, Advocate

Ex-officio SRC Members

Name City/Town

Maryan Amaral Newtonville
Andrea Bader
Boston
Kristin Britton
Quincy
Christiana Erekosima
Hyde Park
Lori Gonzalez
Allston
Kevin Goodwin
Wayland
Anne P. Guterman
W. Newton
June Hailer
Pittsfield
Inta Hall
Hingham
Betty J. King
Boston
Jenna Knight
Worcester
Hang Lee
Milton
David Libunao
Burlington
Lisa Matrundola
Boston
Karen Murray
Boston
Ann Marie Paulson
Lakeville
Carol Perlino
Lynn
Rita Sagalyn
Concord
Angelica Sawyer
Cambridge
Reva Stein
Waltham
Neil Sullivan
Dedham
Barry Sumner
Onset
Francis Verville Fall River






This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.