Thursday, November 3, 2016

IDRAC 2016 Speaker Spotlight: DPCMA

Maggie Sheets presents Friday, November 18th, 2-3pm SLT/US Pacific, at Virtual Ability's International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference.

Maggie Sheets, Research Assistant and Healthcare Advocate with the Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts (DPCMA) will present “The Disability Policy Consortium’s Second Life project” on Friday, November 18, at 2pm in Virtual Ability’s Sojourner Auditorium. Her presentation is part of the 2016 International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference. Her avatar's name is MaggieDPCMA.

This presentation will give a brief background on the history and activities of the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) along with Maggie’s work with the organization. An introduction will be given regarding the DPC’s plans for a project in Second Life. This project will involve women ages 21-40 who have disabilities in a discussion group to talk about dating, relationships, sex, reproductive health, and any other topics of interest to the group. The goal of this group in Second Life is to give these women a space to discuss these issues freely with each other.

Maggie has worked at the Disability Policy Consortium in Malden (Massachusetts, US) since July of 2014. Most recently, Maggie has conducted research and has written four issue briefs on topics of concern to people with disabilities. These include: access to SNAP benefits, access to affordable housing, domestic abuse faced by people with disabilities, and issues people with disabilities who age-out of the educational system at age 22 confront. She has also been providing technical support to a research team examining the healthcare experiences of One Care (health insurance program) enrollees. She is also creating a resource guide with contacts and information to help people with disabilities who are experiencing violence.

In the past, Maggie managed all logistics for five discussion groups with MassHealth enrollees to learn more about their healthcare experiences. Results from a discussion group involving homeless individuals with disabilities will be submitted for publication in the Disability and Health Journal. She also conducted outreach to college students with disabilities to encourage them to become more involved in disability advocacy.

Prior to working with the Disability Policy Consortium, Maggie worked as a Program Associate with Community Catalyst providing technical assistance to a research team examining conflict of interest issues in medical education. Maggie holds a Master’s Degree in Health Communication from a program from Emerson College in collaboration with Tufts University School of Medicine. Her personal motto is: Everything will be all right in the end and if it is not all right it is not yet the end.

International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC)
November 18 & 19, 2016
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability, Second Life®

IDRAC is an annual professional conference which celebrates progress and the future of the disability rights movement in the United States and across the world. It is free and open to the public, hosted by Virtual Ability in Second Life®. A full schedule of the conference presentations will be released when it is finalised.

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