resources for you
Massachusetts Advocacy Groups
The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC), established in 1983, is a non-profit organization made up of parents, professionals and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of Down syndrome.
Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change (MFOFC) - A statewide, grassroots coalition of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses and their families. They advocate that supports for individuals and families can be more responsive, more comprehensive, more flexible, and designed to respond to the actual needs people have.
Massachusetts Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee was established in 1973 by the Massachusetts Legislature the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) to secure and protect the legal rights of persons involved in mental health and developmental disabilties programs in the Commonwealth. The work of MHLAC is carried out by a small staff of lawyers who seek to make full use of the law to ensure that the rights of persons who are or may be regarded as mentally disabled are recognized and protected.
ARCMASS (ArcMassachesetts) is a statewide volunteer educational and advocacy organization dedicated to helping individuals with specific developmental disabilities. Their mission is to "enhance the quality of life for individuals with specific developmental disabilities by promoting quality community services and advocating for enlightened public policy." This is achieved via a local network of parents, professionals and friends joined together to advocate for better programs and supports for these individuals and their families.
The Federation for Children with Special Needs serves as a center for parents and parent organizations to work together on behalf of children with special needs and their families. Organized in 1975 as a coalition of parent groups representing children with a variety of disabilities, the Federation operates a Parent Center in Massachusetts with other Centers in various states.
Planning for Life After Special Education in Massachusetts - Online Manual *NEW
will help you work with your school to get the most appropriate services for your student. Tips are spread throughout to help students get what they need-with and without the help of parents and other advocates. Periodic updates are made to manual on Disability Law Center's website at http://www.dlc-ma.org/manual/.
About Chapter 688: Massachusetts Dept. of Education
Chapter 688, known as the "Turning 22 Law", was enacted in 1984 to provide a two year planning process for young adults with severe disabilities who will lose their entitlement to special education at the age of 22, or at the time of graduation from high school, whichever comes first. This "Turning 22 Law" is NOT a continuation of the Massachusetts Special Education Statute, nor is it an entitlement guaranteeing services after the age of 22. The law creates a single point of entry into the adult human service system and establishes a planning process which identifies services or supports which may be needed through the adult service system once the student has graduated or turns 22 and special education entitlements have terminated.
Transition from School to Adult Life - Time Lines
This downloadable brochure was prepared by Arc of Massachusetts and The Arc of Greater Haverhill / Newburyport. It gives timelines and what parents can do to prepare for their child's transition.
School Days to Pay Days - An Employment Planning Guide for Families of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
This publication was written by staff from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Central Mass Transition Resource Guide
developed by the Central Transition Team to coordinate information about the state agencies and other resources in central Massachusetts that may be involved in planning and providing transition services.
Asperger Syndrome Education Transition Planning
Tips in transition planning for students and parents from Asperger's Association New England.
Autism Speaks Transition Toolkit
Also includes a list of Autism Transition to Adult Services in Massachusetts
Think College Options for Those with Intellectual Disabilities
website provides access to searchable databases of existing college options. Be sure to check out "What's New" feature on right side of screen.
Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning
This 50-page guide offers families information and resources to effectively prepare for and participate in periods of transition in their children's lives. In family-friendly language the guide discusses transition plans and the role of AT in them and offers checklists and suggestions.
Transition from School to Adult Life
This site from Department of Elementary & Secondary Education provides helpful guidance on transition for both the students and their families.
The Road Forward - A DDS Guide to Transition Planning
Massachusetts Department Developmental Services Guide for Transition Planning. Once an individual has been found eligible to receive DDS services as an adult and has turned age 18, DDS will assign a Transition Coordinator to work with the individual.