Through relationships forged over the years with legislators, school officials and other advocacy organizations, MAC gained the credibility to play a convening role in the Special Education Collaborative, composed of the major statewide stakeholders on both sides of the special education issue. The Collaborative Group identified as a shared concern the need for improved transition services and supports for young adults under the special education law. MAC and the Collaborative have worked together over the past few years at the legislative and administrative level creating, among other initiatives, a new state program, Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment, for young adults ages 18-22 with severe disabilities who fail MCAS, bringing public institutions of higher education together with school district to enable the students to attend college courses in an inclusive manner, participate in campus life, and develop employment and independent living skills.
Learn more about the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment (ICE) grant program for students with severe disabilities in this video which was produced by the Institute of Community Inclusion, a member of the Special Education Collaborative and provider of technical assistance to the program.
The Special Education Collaborative also played a leadership role in the passage of the law requiring transition age to begin at 14, as well as the implementation guidelines for parents and for professionals.
The Collaborative was also instrumental in the improvements of Chapter 688 procedures for students with disabilities transitioning from special education to the state’s system of adult services, as described in this joint Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) brochure.
Task Force on Higher Education Report Success!
The legislative Task Force on Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder released its final report, under the leadership of Rep. Tom Sannicandro, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. MAC was instrumental in the development of the report. Task Force members included Julia Landau, MAC Senior Project Director, and Brian Heffernan, former MAC Youth Advocate Fellow. The report advocates for equal rights to higher education for students who have been denied the benefits of higher education for too long. Click here to download the report