Dear Colleagues:
We are pleased to report that earlier this month, as a part of the implementation of Section 4203 of the Affordable Care Act, Removing Barriers and Improving Access to Wellness for Individuals with Disabilities, the Access Board, in consultation with the Food & Drug Administration issued Proposed Accessibility Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment.  The Access Board wants to hear from you:  (Comments on the proposed rule are due by June 8, 2012.  Submit comments by any of the following methods:
•    Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Follow the instructions for submitting comments. ID for this docket is ATBCB-2012-0003.
•    E-mail:  Include docket number ATBCB-2012-0003 in the subject line of the message.
•    Fax:  202-272-0081.
•    Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier:  Office of Technical and Informational Services, Access Board, 1331 F Street, NW, suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111.
Public hearings on the proposed standards will also be held in:
1.    Washington, DC:  Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street, NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004. March 14, 2012, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
2.    Atlanta, GA:  Hilton Atlanta (Meeting Rooms 309-311), 255 Courtland Street, NE., Atlanta, GA 30303. May 8, 2012, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This is an excellent opportunity to help shape standards that have the potential to enhance access to examination equipment of importance to consumers with disabilities.
Henry Claypool, Director, HHS Office on Disability

LGBT Elders in a Changing World

An interdisciplinary practice and policy conference for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults and caregivers. Keynote speaker: Judith B. Bradford, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at the Fenway Institute. Mary Margaret Moore, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of North Shore and Cape Ann will present on LGBT and disabilities.
Keynote topics will include: Programming and Direct Service, HIV and Aging, LGBT Bereavement, Transgender Aging, Screening of Gen Silent and over 15 workshops!
Friday, March 16, 2012, 8:30-4:00 pm, Salem State University School of Social Work
Marsh Conference Center, Central Campus, Salem, MA.
$95 includes conference and lunch; $45 for seniors (60+) and students with current student ID. $30 for 4.5 Social Work CEUs Registration:
For more information on travel or accommodations: (978) 624-2261
Presented by LGBT aging project, North Shore Elder Services and Salem State University

Do you want to make a better life for yourself?

Do you need a better job or your GED? Do you want to prepare for college?
You are invited to participate in the Adult Learning Initiative (ALI) to prepare for the GED, college or a job.
Receive basic computer training, earn 3 college credits, prepare and practice for the GED, improve in Math and English, get help applying to college, and/or get help with your resume & job search. The next eight-week program runs from March 19 – May 15.
Classes meet Monday-Friday 8:45am to 2:00pm/Sign up for an information and registration session Friday March 2, Wednesday March 7, or March 14 8:45 am-1:00 pm
CALL NOW! (978) 281-3558 X304

Adult Learning Initiative, Wellspring House, 302 Essex Avenue, Gloucester, MA,  ALI Program Coordinator:  978-281-3558 ext. 304,

CLASS Act repealed in the House on 2/1/12

On Wednesday February 1, 2012 the House of Representatives voted to repeal CLASS Act.
Please thank those of your US Representatives who voted to prevent CLASS Act from being taken out of the Affordable Care Act. This is another example of your elected Congressional Representative not understanding that those of us living with disabilities want to contribute and that many of us are employed yet looking for
safety net to obtain what we need to keep living independently and productively.
For those of you who have been involved over the past decade on CLASS Act, know
that our efforts will continue for Community Choice and access to long term services
and supports. Here is the link to see how your Congressional Representative voted.
Please contact your elected officials, thanking those that know what we want and
need and saying to those that did not vote to keep CLASS Act, ‘shame on you and you are only temporarily able bodied, so watch out! And I vote, so I will remember how you voted on 2/1/12.”

Here is the link:

Mary Margaret Moore

Metropolitan Area Planning Council Shares its Position on MBTA Proposed Cuts/Changes

MBTA: Make Your Voice Heard
As you are probably aware, the MBTA is facing a massive shortfall for the coming fiscal year’s budget of $161 million. In response, MBTA officials have proposed two options to address the immediate shortfall. These approaches include varying levels of both fare increases and service reductions.

MAPC’s position on this crisis is simple: we need a comprehensive funding solution.

Public transportation is vitally important to the Massachusetts economy, especially when our recovery remains fragile. A strong public transportation system also has positive effects on the environment, road congestion, and equity.

We believe that while modest fare increases and perhaps even service reductions will have to be part of a final solution, the MBTA budget should not be balanced on the backs of its riders. Instead, the Legislature and the Governor need to adopt a comprehensive funding fix. In the meantime, they also need to pass a stop-gap measure that prevents the most draconian of these proposals from taking effect.

We need your voice to support our efforts. Please contact your Senator and Representative to urge them to adopt a long term fix for transportation funding. You can use the link below to take action:

Contact Your Legislators Now!

In addition, the MBTA is holding a series of public hearings to gather feedback on their proposals. We encourage you to attend and make your voice heard. You can find the schedule at this link:

Metropolitan Area Planning Council
60 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111