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COVID-19 Guidance for Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Consumers

MassHealth has put together a guide for PCA consumers, which provides important information about MassHealth, PCA services, what you need to know about COVID-19, how to prepare yourself and your home, information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and what to do if you feel sick.

Click here to download a PDF of the guide.

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Wheels of Hope

The Merrimack Valley Project, a social justice organization in Lawrence, MA, has advocated for many years to make the Wheels of Hope possible. Wheels of Hope is a life-saving community resource for Merrimack Valley residents that provides free transportation to detox or residential treatment facilities anywhere in Massachusetts.

This is a 5-month pilot program, so to keep it funded beyond this time, people need to start using it right away. Please share this important resource with others.

For more information about the Wheels of Hope, visit their website here: https://helplinema.org/wheelsofhope.

WellConnected.Net

WellConnected.net is a free community resource available to anyone looking for free or reduced cost social services in their area, or to providers who would like to list the services they have available at their organizations. The goal of WellConnected.net is to bring dignity and ease to the process of navigating for services.

To get started, go to WellConnected.net and type in your zip code. A list of programs and services in your area will show up. Select which category of services you need help with such as medical care, food, housing, job training etc.

If you’re a provider, some of your programs and services may already be listed on the site. You’ll need to claim your organization if you’d like to make changes to your listing or add programs and services. Organizations can also choose to accept and manage referrals through the site.

For more information, check out this article.

Age-Friendly Lawrence Initiative

The City of Lawrence is working on a major initiative to help Lawrence become an “Age-Friendly Community” – a place where housing, transportation, green spaces, health care and social services help residents of all ages lead healthier lives.

This initiative is a direct response to Mayor Rivera’s Age-Friendly City Proclamation that designated Lawrence’s Council on Aging and the Mayor’s Health Task Force to lead a multi-stakeholder group in planning, assessing and developing strategies to support active aging and aging in place.

To accurately reflect the community’s needs, all Lawrence residents are encouraged to participate in a community-wide survey. All surveys are anonymous. Results will help with the creation and implementation of an age-friendly action plan that benefits every one.

NILP is supporting this initiative by offering paper copies, in both Spanish and English, of the surveys at our Lawrence office. You can also take the survey online. Click here for the Spanish survey and click here for the English survey.

If you have additional questions about this initiative or the surveys, please contact Danetza Yachachin at dyachachin@cityoflawrence.com.

REquipment DME Reuse Program

NILP would like you to know about the REquipment DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Reuse program that is funded by the MRC (Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission) and MassMatch. This DME Reuse program provides free refurbished wheelchairs, scooters, shower chairs and more to adults, children and elders recycled in Massachusetts. For more information, please visit: https://dmerequipment.org

Massachusetts Wheelchair Lemon Law

NILP wants you to know about the Massachusetts Customized Wheelchair Lemon Law. Owners of customized wheelchairs may apply for arbitration should their wheelchair be defective. The Customized Wheelchair Arbitration program provides consumers who have paid some or all of the costs out of pocket for their purchase or lease of a new, but defective, customized wheelchair with the ability to settle disputes with the manufacturer. For more information, please visit https://www.mass.gov/customized-wheelchair-lemon-law or view the video here.

MassOptions

MassOptions is a free public resource that helps you avoid the frustration of calling different agencies. Call MassOptions toll free at 1-844-422-6277 or visit www.MassOptions.org to learn more.

The Access For Opportunity Housing Plan

There is a significant shortage of affordable accessible housing in Massachusetts. We will address that need head-on by constructing several large apartment buildings throughout the state. Each apartment building will have 60 units.
We will go above and beyond offering this much-needed housing and address three other key issues.

We will offer our residents:

√ Access to state-of-the-art affordable wheelchair accessible housing
√ Access to career training, job coaching, office space and employment opportunities
√ Access to wheelchair accessible transportation
√ The chance to live in a safe, warm, supportive, healthy and friendly atmosphere

It will be an opportunity that can be found nowhere else.

If you are having trouble finding affordable wheelchair accessible housing, or had trouble in the past – or if you’re a success story, Access For Opportunity wants to hear your stories. The good, the bad, the ugly. Please contact AFO at AFO@access4opp.org or call (978) 388-6982. Thanks!

Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council (MASILC) is Looking for Qualified Individuals to Serve on the Council

MASILC members play an active role in establishing Independent Living Policy in Massachusetts through participation in the development and implementation of the three year State Plan for Independent Living.

MASILC is looking for qualified individuals to Serve on the Council who:

  1. provide statewide representation.
  2. represent a broad range of individuals with disabilities from diverse backgrounds;
  3. are knowledgeable about centers for independent living and independent living services; and are not employed by any state agency or center  for independent living.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Statewide Independent Living Council please go to www.masilc.org or contact the SILC Office for more information. info@MASILC.org  or 978-620-7452.