From the Editor’s Desk 
Elaine McHugh

Welcome to the Spring Edition of the Consumer’s Voice. 

As of April 2, 2012, the Administrative Office of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission will be re-locating to 600 Washington St., Boston, MA.  This is a newly refurbished building and we will be centrally located along with other State agencies.  As of this time, we will have the same phone number and e-mail address.

The Consumer’s Voice will continue to be published on its established quarterly schedule, so our readers will not see any real change except for our return address.

Betsy Pillsbury sent us an article on the Spaulding Peace Art Gallery.   The Peace Art Gallery opened in 2009, allowing Spaulding patients to explore art and its therapeutic benefits in the healing process.   Betsy’s article provides further information on the gallery.

Lora Brugnaro attended the Alliance for Full Participation in Washington, D.C.  One participant of this summit described their time there “as if they landed in a perfect world.”  Lora’s article is included in this issue.

Once again, Girard Plante brings us another interesting article from his series “Did you Know?” 

We are encouraging our readers to sign up for the electronic version of the Consumer’s Voice.  Switching from the paper version to the electronic version is easy.   Simply email me at elaine.mchugh@mrc.state.ma.us and provide me with your name, street address and the new e-mail address you want the Consumer’s Voice sent to.

We continue to invite writers and artists to send their work to the Consumer’s Voice.  If interested, please send your article or artwork to the above mentioned e-mail address.

 

Department of Mental Health Commissioner Barbara Leadholm to Step Down

The Patrick-Murray Administration announced that Barbara Leadholm, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, will step down on January 31, 2012 to assume a new role as a Principal in the Boston office of Health Management Associates, Inc. In this new position, she will continue her efforts to improve the integration of behavioral health services into the health care system as the nation prepares to fully implement federal health care reform. Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health Services, Marcia Fowler, will serve as Interim Commissioner.

“Commissioner Leadholm has an unmatched commitment to ensuring that people with mental illness have access to high quality services and opportunities for recovery,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “On behalf of the Commonwealth, I am thankful for her leadership and service, and I know she will continue to show leadership in advocating for the importance of behavioral health services in the broader health care system.”

“Barbara Leadholm has led the Department of Mental Health with a profound dedication to promoting recovery and resiliency for people with mental illness,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. “Under her leadership, the agency has made it a priority to support consumers in achieving successful recoveries in the community.”

Barbara has served as Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health since 2007. Under her leadership, the agency has made significant strides in implementing the Community First initiative as part of its continuum of quality services for people with serious mental illness. In launching Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS), the Department demonstrated its goal of supporting all consumers in their realization of achieving successful recoveries in the community. The accelerated closure of Westborough State Hospital within nine months highlights Commissioner Leadholm’s and her staff’s ability to address the changing needs of individuals and plan for their appropriate discharge while developing significant new community resources. Commissioner Leadholm, along with the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management, also managed the design and groundbreaking of the new Worcester State Hospital, a 320-bed state-of-the-art facility that will help foster recovery and rehabilitation. Commissioner Leadholm’s leadership and engagement with other child-serving agencies, including MassHealth, have helped realize the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative, an effort that allowed the state to reach beyond remedy services to achieve a shared vision of family and child voice in the design and implementation of community services for children with serious emotional disturbance and their families.

“It has been a privilege as Commissioner to lead Massachusetts’ transformation of the mental health system to a recovery and community based system of services and supports,” said Commissioner Leadholm. “I am proud of the Department’s leadership team and line staff who developed community based flexible services and work every day with some of our most vulnerable residents. We know that treatment is effective and early identification and intervention can lessen the interruption in a person's education, employment and social connections.

Health care reform offers the unique opportunity to integrate mental health and substance use services into mainstream health care; in linking with the community and rehabilitation services individuals with mental illness can live productive and satisfying lives.”

Interim Commissioner Marcia Fowler has served as Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health Services since January 2009 and has been responsible for the operations of all state and contracted mental health inpatient and community-based programs and services, as well as monitoring and oversight. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Commissioner, she served the Department as North East Area Director and as Director of Investigations.

About the Department of Mental Health (DMH)

Part of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, DMH provides services to adults, children and adolescents with long-term or serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance; provides early and ongoing treatment for mental illness; and conducts research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness. Through state-operated inpatient facilities and community mental health centers and through community services and programs provided by nearly 200 mental health providers, DMH directly serves 21,000 citizens, including about 3,500 children and adolescents, with severe and persistent mental illness and serious emotional disturbances.

 

Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner, Julia Kehoe, to Serve as Senior Advisor on Policy Development

The Patrick-Murray Administration announced that Julia Kehoe, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, will assume a new role as Senior Advisor on Policy Development in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  Kehoe will transition to this new position on November 18. Governor Patrick has appointed Daniel Curley to serve as the next Commissioner of the Department. 

“Commissioner Kehoe has a deep commitment to public service, and it has shown in her leadership at the Department of Transitional Assistance,” said Governor Deval Patrick.  “Low-income individuals and families have no more passionate advocate than Julia Kehoe, and I am thankful for her service to the people of the Commonwealth as Commissioner.” 

Commissioner Kehoe has played a vital role in our leadership team and has led the Administration’s efforts to support low-income individuals and families on their path to self-sufficiency,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby.  “Particularly in a time when government has had to do more with less, Commissioner Kehoe’s leadership and commitment to the needs of this diverse constituency have been invaluable to our Commonwealth. I am thankful for her service as Commissioner and look forward to her joining the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.”  

Kehoe has served as Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) since 2007.  Under her leadership, the Department has increased the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits coming into Massachusetts by more than $70 million per month and continued to manage a caseload that has more than doubled, despite budget challenges associated with the national economic climate. DTA also made improvements to the SNAP application process by streamlining applications for elders and people with disabilities and establishing longer re-certification periods; standard medical deductions; expanded categorical eligibility; and pre-filled re-certification forms.  The Department has won millions of dollars in SNAP High Performance Bonus Awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Commissioner Kehoe also established the innovative DTA Works program, which provides support and job training to hundreds of cash assistance clients through internship opportunities at local DTA offices.  The Department also hosted the first-ever Statewide Hunger Summit; launched satellite offices and SNAP Outreach Centers; established 16 local office Advisory Boards; and worked with the Department of Agricultural Resources to expand EBT access at Farmers’ Markets. 

“Every day, the dedicated staff of the Department of Transitional Assistance make meaningful contributions to people’s lives, and I have been honored to serve as Commissioner,” Commissioner Kehoe said.  “I am proud of the work we have done to assist Massachusetts’ lowest income residents meet their basic needs, increase their incomes and improve their quality of life.  I thank Governor Patrick and Secretary Bigby for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of the Commonwealth and look forward to contributing more to the important work of this Administration moving forward.”  

 

Daniel Curley Appointed new DTA Commissioner

Governor Patrick announced the appointment of Daniel J. Curley as the new Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance. Mr. Curley currently serves as Executive Director of JRI Health, a division of Justice Resource Institute (JRI) Health, a regional human services organization that pursues social justice through providing underserved youth, adults and families with opportunities to develop skills essential for autonomy and wellbeing.  These services include housing and supportive services for at-risk youth, including GLBTQ identified youth and adults.  In this role, he has enhanced consumer voice and involvement at all levels of the organization while building management capacity.  

Before joining JRI in 2005, Curley served as Executive Director of Cambridge Cares about AIDS, where he instituted a model program for homeless youth that provided case management, mental health, health and dental services.  Mr. Curley served as chair of the Cambridge City Public Health Board and President of HousingWorks, Inc. during the development of this national model of an affordable housing data system. Previously, he was Director of Operations for Behavioral Health Services at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury.  

“Dan Curley has a proven commitment to developing and implementing high-quality services for people in need,” Secretary Bigby said.  “We welcome him to the Patrick-Murray Administration and look forward to the many contributions that he will make to our efforts to support low-income individuals and families during challenging times.”

 “I am honored to join with DTA staff in meeting the diverse needs of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents,” said Dan Curley.  “The staff form one-on-one relationships with clients and provide meaningful interventions that net real outcomes for individuals and families.  Together, we will continue to help support individuals and families on the road to self-sufficiency.”  

Mr. Curley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Education, Organizational Development and Life Long Learning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He assumed his new role as Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance on November 21, 2011.

 

Richard Mangino
Elaine McHugh

Richard Mangino, a 65-year-old man who lost his lower arms and legs to a bloodstream infection in 2002 received two new hands during a 12-hour transplant operation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He was able to become accomplished at dressing himself, snow shoveling and picking up small items that fell on the floor.  Richard always prided himself at being self- taught.

Richard always had a keen interest in art and increased his artistic endeavors after his amputations. 

Most recently, his art work has been included in the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s 2012 Calendar. He displays his works proudly on his basement walls and on his website richardmanginoartist.com.

Mangino is also passionate about music.  He played guitar in bands in the 1960s at Revere Beach and still composes music.   His ability to put words to music has been a support skill during the intensive therapy sessions required for recovery.

New hands will allow Richard to experience the sense of touch, play the guitar with ease, swim and hug his family.

Richard is now recovering at home.  He has a schedule full of therapy and medical appointments.  We hope to have an interview with him in the Consumer’s Voice when he has time.

 

Spaulding’s Peace Art Gallery
Betsy Pillsbury

Spaulding’s Peace Art Gallery was opened in September, 2009, as a place where our patients who are artists can explore art and its therapeutic benefits, and have an opportunity to display and potentially sell their art work. In addition, we want to encourage, support and promote artists with disabilities in the community, and educate the broader community on the abilities of artists with disabilities, by showcasing the wide range of artistic media used in creating their artworks.

Since opening in 2009 we have had seven art exhibits, displaying paintings and photography. One exhibit featured artwork from The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and another from the Walnut Street Center. A very special exhibit was part of the celebration of Spaulding’s 40th anniversary, and featured artists who had received their rehabilitation services at Spaulding. Three of these artists were selected by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) from over 1,000 entries to have their art work on permanent display at CARF’s international headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

The current exhibit displays ceiling tiles painted by patients in Spaulding’s Spinal Cord Injury Program who paint these tiles during individual and group treatment sessions to encourage interaction with other patients and staff, sharing stories about friends, family, and events in their lives that help them to remain positive during a difficult time in their lives. Once completed, the tiles are placed in the patients’ rooms over their beds. After a patient is discharged, the tile is placed in the ceiling of the gym so the brilliant colors, unique designs, and messages of hope brighten their sessions.

Future exhibits will include art work by Spaulding employees and a summer exhibit will feature artists from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.

The gallery is located off the cafeteria on the second floor of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 125 Nashua Street, Boston, and is open daily during business hours. For more information

contact Betsy Pillsbury, by e-mail at epillsbury@partners.org

 

Testimony for MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program
June Hailer, M.Ed.

My name is June Hailer and I am a long-time resident of Pittsfield, MA. I am also Chair of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC’s) Home Care Advisory Committee and a 20+-year consumer of the Home Care Assistance Program.  The above committee is made up of consumers of the program, representatives of vendors who provide home care services (such as shopping, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping and taking out trash), a representative from the Department of Public Health (who provides information on the benefits of health, wellness and exercise) and staff representatives of MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program.

Knowing there is a public hearing on the FY 2013 Budget on December 9th, the consumers of MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program (which include myself, Susan Coughlin, Carol Leary, Douglas Mason and over 1,000 more unnamed consumers, statewide) wish to  express our strong and ongoing support for this most cost-effective and vital program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Since the reopening of the intake process for the Home Care Assistance Program, in June of 2011, 590 applications have been taken.  The average continues to be 20-25 per week. Prior to this, the intake process had been closed for two years, due to an ever-increasing wait-list for services and at the same time, continued reductions in funds for MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program.

Statewide, consumers who apply for MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program are not eligible for the more costly Personal Care Attendant or PCA Program. Though there are many who tend to believe this is so, it is not correct.

The Home Care Assistance Program is essential and allows its growing consumer base (as well as myself and those mentioned above) to continue to stay out of expensive hospitals and institutions, live in our own homes/apartments, stay actively involved in our communities and be or remain employed (as tax-paying citizens) or work in a volunteer capacity, which can provide a consumer with more job skills and lead to paid employment.

Finally, while we recognize there are budget constraints, we would like to re-emphasize that the disabled population keeps growing, so the demand for the Home Care Assistance Program will increase. By not continuing to fund and keep this cost-effective program, there is a chance that it will end up costing the state more in the long run. Hence, in your consideration of the FY 2013 Budget, we would like to collectively request that MRC’s Home Care Assistance Program remain at least as it is. It is the right and moral thing to do.

 

“Disability Answers” Smart Phone APP

The Advocator Group, an organization that helps Americans obtain disability benefits, has released a new smartphone app, “Disability Answers,” to help people with debilitating health conditions and their families handle the bureaucratic minefield surrounding Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare eligibility.

Available for both iPhone and Android devices, it offers clear answers to simple questions, like “What is disability insurance?” as well as the more difficult questions “Tips for filing taxes for a lump sum retroactive award?”  The “My Answers” menu walks users through a step-by-step survey to determine the likelihood of coverage. It helps to know that there is an app to put help at your fingertips.

TAP•it

TAP•it is the first ADA compliant interactive learning station designed to recognize the difference between an arm resting upon the screen and a finger or assistive device intentionally tapping an image. Providing an optimal interface for teaching students with special needs at their own pace, TAP•it reinforces skills that can be transferred to other computer-based learning applications utilizing the Internet, educational software or communication devices.

TAP•it is within reach for students using wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices, providing full access to the screen with easy adjustments that adapt to individualized needs. Worries about navigation are eliminated as users can maneuver up to the workstation and have full reach capabilities.

With the touch of a button, the TAP•it platform can move up or down and the 42" interactive LCD panel can be tilted from 0 - 90 degrees. These adjustments make TAP•it infinitely more accessible to physically challenged students and their instructors than stationary wall-mounted boards.

Impervious to dust, grit, grime or other contaminants, the commercial grade LCD panel is made of shatter-resistant safety glass. Repurposed exclusively for TAP•it, the screen technology is used by the military and resists mars and scratches. The field-tested platform is counter-balanced, so even if a student leans their full body weight against it, TAP•it will not tip.

Mobility is essential for educators who may use TAP•it in multiple environments, from the classroom to therapy settings. Roll TAP•it to the desired location and keep the workstation stable with commercial grade locking casters.

 

Did You Know?
Girard A. Plante

Throughout human history people with disabilities have lived through torturous situations. Some lived to share their horrific experiences of exploitations at the hands of people hell-bent on power. Others suffered silently and allowed their stories to be told to an unwary public by advocates who sought to ensure civility.

While the focus of disability or “being disabled” has portrayed a largely negative existence perpetuated by an unenlightened society, there have been and remain countless liberators who’ve championed citizens with disabilities as having possibilities.

So this issue’s Did You Know series show some of the greatest inventors and scholars in history that profoundly impacted the way our society and the world has lived and worked within the past three centuries. Some have a direct link to Massachusetts.

What would we do without cell phones?  Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone in 1876, we benefit immensely from human history’s most essential concept of communicating. Bell’s interest in working with deaf students came from his mother who lost her hearing when he was 12.  Bell also lived with a learning disability.

Four years prior to inventing the phone, Bell opened a school in Boston.  The “School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech” appealed to many deaf students, one of them being Helen Keller.  He and his associate Benjamin Bredding engaged in the world’s first successful long distance two-way telephone conversation across the Charles River. Bell died at age 75 in 1922.

Thomas Alva Edison is credited as the world’s greatest inventor.  Though hearing impaired and struggling through a learning disability akin to ADHD, Edison’s inventions include the light bulb, record player, and cinematic camera. 

Despite possessing poor writing skills, Edison published the Weekly Herald, at the tender age of 14. The “commuter” newspaper is touted as the first to be “type-set, printed, and published on a train.” 

Edison resided for a time in Brockton, Mass., where at age 37, he displayed the first standardized central power system. Deaf in his left ear and nearly 80 percent deaf in his right ear, Edison eagerly studied telegraph signals for 17 months at Boston Tech in 1861. In 1916, the school grew into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

A year after moving into his vast laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison invented the phonograph.  And only two short years later, he invented the incandescent light bulb. In 1892, Edison’s company the Edison General Electric Co. joined forces with a similar company and GE or General Electric was born.

Albert Einstein is considered the scientist responsible for averting annihilation of hundreds of millions of people. He headed the Manhattan Project, a group of scientists who alerted President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Adolf Hitler’s ability to make the atomic bomb.

Einstein may have had Aspergers syndrome or Autism. He was Dyslexic and unable to speak until age three. No matter the disability, Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity” turned the science world on its axis. For that amazing achievement, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Einstein, considered to be “the father of modern physics,” came to America in 1933 as Hitler rose to power and never returned to Germany. He died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955. He was 76.   

Diagnosed with “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” or ALS at age 21, Stephen Hawking hasn’t given in nor given up. Living with his disability for 46 years, he is the eminent Physicist who developed the “Black Hole” theory, which suggests there are numerous other universes within a limitless black hole. Hawking uses a voice synthesizer to speak and communicate. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. 

Another physicist, from another time, Isaac Newton lived with an incessant stutter that proved to be one of many obstacles he overcame throughout his life.

His concept of gravity elevated Newton to lofty status within the scientific world of the 1670s. And he invented the first reflecting telescope, among other significant scientific creations.  

Yet he also dealt with seizures caused by epilepsy and lived with bipolar disorder. In spite of the constant emotional challenges, Newton served with distinction in the rough-and-tumble English parliament.  He passed on in March 1727.

John Milton was known as one of the great literary writers in history.  Upon contracting glaucoma that caused blindness at age 43, Milton wrote some of his best poetry, and one of the greatest literary pieces “The Paradise Lost.” 

Milton believed his blindness was a “calling to service” by God. For the remaining 40 years of his life, Milton wrote numerous sonnets about his “journey of faith” that he theorized would shape who we are upon affliction. Another testimonial spoken centuries ago but that resonates in the 21st century is that disability does not doom one without possibilities. Milton died at age 82 in 1674.

The remarkable life of Helen Keller can be found a short distance away at the Perkins School for the Blind, where she studied and, years later, taught others with blindness to live successfully. 

Helen’s vision was robbed by a virus at age three. She lost the ability to hear and speak as well. Her unruly persona changed at age 12 in her rural Alabama setting upon meeting Anne Sullivan, whose patience and perseverance prevailed in teaching Helen how to communicate. 

As a result of Anne’s ceaseless devotion both remained inseparable for 59 years. They traveled to dozens of nations lecturing to others yearning to learn how to communicate and meet their heroine. In 1904, Helen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College.

A women’s rights activist, author, educator, and advocate for the disabled Helen never strayed from her interest in helping people with blindness or deafness. And she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1965.

Helen Keller’s rich life ended on June 1, 1968, at her favorite residence, Arcan Ridge in Easton, CT. She was 87. Her beloved teachers Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson are buried nearby. 

 

Alliance for Full Participation Summit – Washington, DC- November 2011
Lora Brugnaro

In November, the Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) held a national summit in Washington, DC. The summit focused on competitive employment for people with developmental disabilities.

AFP’s Vision:That people with developmental disabilities and their families realize the promise of integration, productivity, and independence and quality of life choices. (Although their specific vision is for people with DD, it is one many groups could adopt.)

AFP’s Mission:To dream, plan, work, mobilize and organize with people with developmental disabilities, their families, and supporting communities and organizations to make the promise of inclusion, integration, productivity, independence and quality of life a reality in policy and practice.

In 2005, AFP hosted a Summit around the theme, “Many Voices, One Vision.” For the first time in history, our organizations came together to host a national Summit to create a social agenda and action plan for fulfilling its mission. In the fall of 2011, AFP hosted a Summit, focused on making fully integrated employment a reality for all people with disabilities.

Vision for Employment: Employment expectations for individuals with developmental disabilities will be the same as those for people without disabilities. Education settings will assist in raising these expectations by providing information, supports and job experiences to all students.  Employment will be in regular, competitive and inclusive employment settings with compensation at least minimum wage.

The 2011 Summit: “The Alliance for Full Participation's 2011 Summit was a huge success.  Over 1,250 people participated in the Real Jobs--It's Everyone's Business Summit in Washington, DC, which marked the mid-point in a campaign to double integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by the year 2015. 

The Summit featured dynamic speakers including U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius; a ground breaking Town Hall moderated by Frank Sesno and included the voices of self advocates, employers, direct support professionals, providers, and state and federal leaders.  Active participation and idea sharing by state teams; dynamic, in-depth breakout sessions; roundtables; technology forums; value-packed exhibit hall; and most importantly, an inspiring group of incredibly committed, dedicated and action-oriented group of attendees.”

Attendees heard many positive messages from professionals with developmental disabilities, and members of organizations. Many of the speakers were impressive leaders and successful employees with developmental disabilities who spoke to the vast crowd about their experiences with competitive employment and policy issues in employment. Each speaker on the podium seemed to prove how possible it is for people with developmental disabilities to work successfully, whether in a library helping with books or for the Federal government, working on policy development. Each person revealed during their speech an array of accommodation needs, from job coaches, personal care assistants, and natural employment supports to sophisticated augmented communication devices, wheelchairs, canes and walkers.

One attendee described the summit experience like landing in a perfect city, meaning at the summit, people with all different abilities lived and worked together for two days with equal access to the hotel, presentations, speakers, exhibit areas and meals. All were treated with the same amount of dignity, expectation and respect, due at a professional conference. Ideas were generated and exchanged; opinions expressed; challenges made and networking opportunities sprung forth. Physical access was easy (except the hotel was so enormous a map was provided at the front desk at check-in so one could find the way to rooms and conference areas). Programmatic access was well executed.  Programmatic access means presenting the content of summit activities in accessible formats. Examples of this were having closed-captioning and tailoring language so it was understandable to everyone.  (One easy way to make content clear is to avoid using acronyms; another is to use simple words, instead of words that require a person to consult a dictionary to understand.)

Lastly, participants helped each other. People who were otherwise strangers united by a common focus, offered informal assistance to participants who asked.  To attend a summit like this is to witness how our nation could become truly accessible and engage everybody in meaningful activity/work. We have the knowledge and technology. What do we need to make this experience of universal access to community, work, learning and leisure the experience of every person with a disability who is interested? This is the discussion we need to have.

Being an active participant in the many discussions being held by the multitude of disability groups seems important for people with disabilities to continue the progress toward equal opportunity carved out by the committed and constant work of past disability leaders. I hope readers will seek these opportunities and engage in any way they can. We cannot all attend conferences like The Alliance for Full Participation but we can all do something. We can:  join groups; make calls; participate actively in services; and go about in our communities educating folks about access.  We can help our communities by being in them.

www.allianceforfullparticipation.org/index.php

 

Save the Date: 2012 Consumer Conference

June 19th and 20th at the Four Points Sheraton, Norwood, MA

Hosted by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and Statewide Independent Living Council

Details to come soon.  Contact Program Coordinator Lisa Weber at (617) 204 – 3638 or lisa.weber@mrc.state.ma.us if you have any questions.

 

SILC Education Day

April 4, 2012 11am-1:30pm at the Sate House, 2nd floor Grand Hall. For further information please call Steve Higgins at 508-583-2166 or Paul Spooner at 508-875-7853.

 

Go Green

Save a Tree and have the Consumer’s Voice sent by e-mail. If you are interested please e-mail your request to: consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us Please include your name and address with your request 

 

 Brian Achille

Brian Achille graduated from SUNY-Purchase with a BFA in Visual Arts. s the Co-Founder of Nth degree Studios and Gallery and is currently focusing on the photography of trees in Lowell, MA, his hometown.

 

This newsletter is an independent publication sponsored by the MRC State Rehabilitation Council. The opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the policy and practices of the MRC. They are solely the opinions of consumers of MRC programs and services.

For further information contact Emeka Nwokeji, Director of the Consumer Involvement Program, at 617-204-3665.

To receive the newsletter electronically, send an e-mail to consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us

 


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.