Massachusetts
This Executive Order establishes a Task Force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment, which is responsible for identifying challenges and barriers to employment and recommending strategies for helping target populations (including people with disabilities) prepare for and connect to employment opportunities.
This bill prohibits a transportation network company from imposing additional charges or increasing fares when providing services to people with disabilities and requires all transportation network drivers to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations relating to the accommodation of service animals. If further creates a Ride for Hire Task Force to make recommendations around public safety, consumer protection and economic fairness and equity of the ride for hire industry, which includes a representative of the Disability Law Center.
This bill establishes a Commission on Autism, which consists of representatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and Workforce, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the higher education and community college systems and more. The Commission is tasked with investigating the range of services and supports necessary for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder to achieve their full potential, including around education, employment and behavioral and mental health services. The bill also establishes an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Account to enable individuals with disabilities to save private funds for the purpose of education, employment, transportation, assistive technology and other qualified expenses.
This bill requires each school district to establish a three-year plan for addressing persistent disparities in achievement among certain student subgroups, which includes a description of how the district will effectuate and measure increased engagement with parents of students with disabilities.
This bill establishes a permanent commission on the status of people with disabilities, which is tasked with studying and advising on the status of transportation for people with disabilities, including to access employment opportunities; establishing school-to-work activities for transition-aged youth with disabilities that engage family members (among other stakeholders); and promoting and facilitating collaboration among local disability commissions, disability right advocacy organizations and disability employment service providers.
This program provides adaptive devices and technical consulting to individuals who are blind and employers to help in the workplace, classroom, or the management of a consumer’s home.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), MCB Support Services
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program enables individuals with disabilities, service providers and others to learn about, access, and acquire assistive technology needed for education, employment, and community living. Services include device demonstrations, reutilization, loans, and financing.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), MassMATCH
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides consultation and information for those receiving disability benefits, who need help understanding eligibility and the impact work may have on their benefits.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
The Business Enterprise Program helps people who are blind become food service or vending operators.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
CAP helps individuals who experience problems when applying for or receiving vocational rehabilitation or independent living services. This includes advising and informing individuals of their rights and providing advocacy services.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides personalized college support for students with learning and social challenges. This includes providing high school students with an introduction to college, and college students with ongoing support. The program consists of an Individualized College Plan, peer mentorship, pre-employment training, self-advocacy training, and more. It is a collaboration between College Steps, high schools, colleges, families, and agencies.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
This program acts as the initial information resource for the public related to issues of deafness and hearing loss, including around sign language and speech reading classes, assistive technology, programs and support services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and schools and summer camps. The program also provides technical assistance around assistive technology to individuals and organizations.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides services to consumers who are deafblind and/or legally blind with cognitive issues. Services include vocational, prevocational, and social day programs, as well as assistance accessing adaptive equipment, low vision aides, flex funding, and more.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), Deaf Blind Extended Supports (DBES) Unit
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
The Massachusetts Office on Disability answers questions about disability rights, reasonable accommodations, and issues related to equal access and opportunity.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
Employment Specialists provide individuals with visual impairments assistance in the job search process. Direct services to a job seeker include resume development, cover letter and business correspondence creation, mock interviewing, and employment networking strategies.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides classes for people with disabilities to learn skills that will assist them in pursuing independence. Topics include self-advocacy, choice and control, your rights 101, awareness and action, and voting. Participants will also have the opportunity to become actively involved in a project of their choice.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC)
Entity Type: Other
This program provides a range of independent living services to people with disabilities at Centers for Independent Living across the state. Services include help connecting to local services, assistance with job searches, local transit skills training, assistive technology help, peer mentoring support, assistance with school-to-career transitions, self-advocacy help, and more.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
This program assists individuals with disabilities in seeking, securing, and maintaining employment. Services include career planning, resume development, training, and more.
Operating Entity: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI)
Entity Type: College / University
Participants who complete Berkshire Hills' Two-Year Transition Program may matriculate into the LIVE Program which expands on the skills developed in the two-year transition program and provides a more personalized approach aimed at achieving the individual’s specific goals. Services include vocational preparation and placement, supplemented by independent living classes and music enrichment activities.
Operating Entity: Berkshire Hills Music Academy
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This group mentoring program enables youth with disabilities to engage in self-advocacy and social skills trainings, interactive discussions, role-playing, guest speaker presentations, games, and adaptive recreational activities.
Operating Entity: Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program funds partnerships between local school districts and two- and four-year public colleges and universities in Massachusetts, to enable students to enroll in college while also receiving special education services through the school district. Program participants develop their capacities in career-planning, employment, and self-advocacy, including by engaging in paid work and internships.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program supports Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers in 12 eastern states plus DC and two territories. Services include one-to-one consultations, trainings and webinars, peer-to-peer mentoring, site visits, non-profit management tools, and more.
Operating Entity: Navigating Excellence Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team (NE-PACT)
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program provides a variety of direct services for children and youth with disabilities, families, professionals, and other organizations that support them. This includes helping parents participate effectively in their children’s education and development and partnering with professionals and policymakers to improve outcomes for children with disabilities.
Operating Entity: Federation for Children with Special Needs
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
These programs offer students with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to take college classes, engage in career development and independent living activities, and participate in the social life of a college campus.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
Pre-ETS assist students with disabilities in identifying career interests and developing skills to be successful in the workplace. This includes five required activities: job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, workplace readiness training, counseling on comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, and instruction in self-advocacy.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
Project IMPACT provides personal benefit counseling to people that get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and are employed or looking for a job. This can help individuals with disabilities understand what may happen when they go to work or increase earnings.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
Project SEARCH is a one-year transition-to-work program for students with significant disabilities that includes classroom instruction, career exploration, and internship rotations. It is a collaboration between local businesses, state agencies, local school systems, and other entities, and is offered at several locations.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
This program protects individuals with disabilities by empowering them and advocating on their behalf. This includes providing information and referrals, providing training and technical assistance to service providers, and conducting self-advocacy training.
Operating Entity: Disability Law Center
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program provides information, training and technical assistance, and support to youth and young adults with disabilities and their families, including transition services to help youth and their families navigate multiple programs and service systems; actively participate in the development of plans for independence; and collaborate with transition professionals. It is a collaborative effort between Parent Centers in nine northeastern states.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
STEPS is a resource center where young adults (ages 18-25) can receive mental health support. The program promotes self-advocacy, and offers opportunities for vocational, educational and social development.
Operating Entity: Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This 10-week series helps people with developmental disabilities improve their skills in the areas of decision-making and leadership. It also provides opportunities for people to connect with self-advocacy networks and expand their social networks.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC)
Entity Type: Other
This program works with individuals who are blind or visually impaired to help them navigate their environments and use technology to improve their independence. Services include help with assistive devices, vision evaluations, rehabilitation teaching to help consumers learn new way of doing daily activities, and more.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This vocational program helps young adults with mental health challenges find and maintain competitive employment. Services include vocational assessments, one-on-one job coaching, peer support, vocational skills groups, access to social activities, and more.
Operating Entity: South Shore Mental Health
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program works with special education departments to coordinate services for students who will be graduating high school and need supported living services. Students begin meeting with a case coordinator during their last year in school to transition into post-secondary education, work, and living in the community.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides technical assistance to Parent Centers in Region A, which includes Massachusetts. Services include strategies for reaching underserved families, on-site training and support, an annual conference, program evaluation, and consulting around the nonprofit management process.
Operating Entity: Navigating Excellence Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team (NE-PACT)
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program enables eligible individuals with disabilities to save money in a tax-exempt account that may be used for qualified disability expenses while keeping their eligibility for federally-funded, means-tested public benefits. Eligible expenses include education, employment training and support, and assistive technology.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program provides three different loan packages to help individuals with disabilities acquire assistive technology devices.
Operating Entity: Easterseals - Massachusetts
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program provides paid, temporary work opportunities for individuals with disabilities at Children's Hospital Boston. The program’s focus is on helping participants develop work skills and behaviors that will enhance their vocational success.
Operating Entity: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI)
Entity Type: College / University
This program provides training to parents and service providers statewide regarding services and programs for children with disabilities and the legal right to obtain these services. Workshops address issues like transitions, legal standards, special education service options, and more.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC)
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program matches youth and young adults with mental health challenges (ages 16-22) with the services and supports that best meet their clinical and developmental needs, including around personal stability, community housing, employment, education, and positive family/social relationships.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program is designed to enhance competitive integrated employment and post-secondary enrollment outcomes for high school students with significant disabilities. It provides work-based learning experiences, vocational counseling, workplace readiness training, benefits counseling, assistive technology, peer mentoring, job placement, and more throughout the last two years of a student's high school experience.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program supports young adults with mental health challenges across a range of issues, including attaining employment. Peer mentors offer their firsthand experiences of living with and overcoming mental health issues to support and assist the young adults they are teamed up with on their road to recovery.
Operating Entity: Aspire Health Alliance
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program serves students with disabilities to help them prepare for independence in adulthood. Services are provided at Independent Living Centers (ILCs) and include both individual and group activities in the areas of advocacy, skills training, and peer counseling.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program is offered through Independent Living Centers and provides students with employment related skills, guidance, and paid internships to improve future employment opportunities.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This "college-like" program enables young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to build independent living and vocational skills. Instructors work with participants to establish a baseline of their skill set and work on skills for the future. All of this is done through a curriculum that incorporates music instruction that works on students' social, cognitive, communication, and physical skills.
Operating Entity: Berkshire Hills Music Academy
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program helps people with physical, psychiatric, and learning disabilities prepare for, secure, maintain, advance, or regain employment. Services are offered at 22 locations across the state.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This program help out-of-school and in-school youth with one or more barriers to employment (including having a disability) prepare for and secure employment and postsecondary education opportunities. Services include tutoring; work experiences; occupational skills training; leadership development opportunities; and postsecondary education and training preparation activities.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
This program helps individuals with disabilities who are receiving Social Security Disability benefits make informed choices about work and make a successful transition to self-sufficiency.
Operating Entity: --
Entity Type: Multi-Stakeholder Project
YEP is a job-readiness program that addresses barriers to employment for youth with disabilities. Program includes courses on financial literacy and career readiness, job shadow days, mentoring from leaders in the business community, and more.
Operating Entity: Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This transitional program provides daily structure and support to help young adults with psychiatric disabilities integrate back into the community. It includes structured groups and individualized support to help individuals build pre-vocational, vocational, and educational skills, as well as daily life skills as they relate to work or school.
Operating Entity: Eliot Community Human Services
Entity Type: Non-Profit / Community Organization
This program promotes self-advocacy and self-awareness for youth and young adults with disabilities ages 14-26. It offers regional workshops throughout Massachusetts on topics such as leadership, self-determination, peer networking, assistive technology in the workplace, and employment skills.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Entity Type: State Agency / Office
This document is a toolbox for families to use and includes resources that explain what will occur in regards to distanced learning as well as help families with the transition. It ensures that families have resources to assist their student with a disability in distance learning, providing online learning plans, schedules, and virtual educational resources
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Massachusetts published a letter to families explaining the process of distanced learning going forward. The letter emphasizes adjustments to IEPs to best accomodate students with disabilities during distance learning. It also requires schools to provide assistive technology for students. Finally, it communicates future policies with parents.
Operating Entity: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education