HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 456        FILED ON: 1/13/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 634

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Patricia A. Haddad and Sean Garballey

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism,  and other developmental disabilities.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Solomon Goldstein-Rose

3rd Hampshire

Jack Lewis

7th Middlesex

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Diana DiZoglio

14th Essex

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

William C. Galvin

6th Norfolk

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Danielle W. Gregoire

4th Middlesex

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

Steven S. Howitt

4th Bristol

John J. Lawn, Jr.

10th Middlesex

Jeffrey N. Roy

10th Norfolk

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Chris Walsh

6th Middlesex

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

Richard J. Ross

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

José F. Tosado

9th Hampden

Carole A. Fiola

6th Bristol

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Daniel Cahill

10th Essex

Stephan Hay

3rd Worcester

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

James M. Murphy

4th Norfolk

Michelle M. DuBois

10th Plymouth

Bradford R. Hill

4th Essex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

David F. DeCoste

5th Plymouth

Daniel J. Hunt

13th Suffolk

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Kevin J. Kuros

8th Worcester

Brian Murray

10th Worcester

Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex

Paul Tucker

7th Essex

John C. Velis

4th Hampden

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

Natalie Higgins

4th Worcester

Marc R. Pacheco

First Plymouth and Bristol

Carlos González

10th Hampden


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 456        FILED ON: 1/13/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 634

By Representatives Haddad of Somerset and Garballey of Arlington, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 634) of Patricia A. Haddad, Sean Garballey and others relative to higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism,  and other developmental disabilities.  Higher Education.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)

_______________

 

An Act creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism,  and other developmental disabilities.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1.  Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 30 the following section: -

Section 30A.  (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law, regulation, standard or guideline to the contrary, in order to provide individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental disabilities with opportunities to be included with nondisabled students in all aspects of higher education for the purpose of gaining academic, career and technical, and independent living skills to prepare them for adult life, including but not limited to employment and civic engagement, said individuals shall not be required to take any standardized college entrance aptitude test; have a high school diploma or its equivalent; meet minimum academic course requirements; meet minimum grade point average requirements; or obtain a passing score on the statewide assessment tests utilized as a basis for competency determinations, under section 1D of chapter 69 of the General Laws, in order to enroll and participate in academic courses that include students without disabilities, participate in internships or work-based training in settings with nondisabled students, and participate in extracurricular activities and all other aspects of campus life, in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) Public institutions of higher education, in consultation with the department of higher education and consistent with the purposes of this section, may create guidelines for admission of said individuals pursuant to this section, provided that these individuals may not be denied admission solely due to their intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder or developmental disability. Public institutions of higher education, in consultation with the department of higher education and consistent with the purposes of this section, may also establish course selection guidelines to help ensure that these individuals receive guidance in selecting courses that are appropriate to their individual strengths, needs, preferences and interests.  These individuals shall be allowed to choose either to take a credit-bearing, academic course for credit if they have met the course prerequisites and requirements, or to audit a credit-bearing, academic course if they have not met the course prerequisites and requirements. Nothing in this section shall require a public institution of higher education to provide course enrollment preference for students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental disabilities.

(c) Individuals enrolled under this section shall be included with nondisabled students in all academic and non-academic aspects of life at  public institutions of higher education so that they have inclusive educational opportunities to acquire academic, career, technical and independent living skills that prepare them for adult life including, but not limited to, gainful employment and civic engagement. Individual supports and services, including academic supports, shall be made available to support inclusion in academic courses, extracurricular activities and other aspects of campus life.   

(d) Public institutions of higher education shall not be required to bear the costs of individual supports and services that exceed the kind of supports and services generally provided by public institutions of higher education.   The costs associated with supporting participation in public institutions of higher education under this section shall be: (i) an approved expense pursuant to section 5 of chapter 71B of the General Laws, provided that a student’s participation in higher education is addressed in the student's Individualized Education Program required by section 3 of chapter 71B of the General Laws for students ages 18 to 21 years old, inclusive and  (ii)  an approved expense, subject to appropriation, pursuant to section 74 of chapter 6 and chapter 19B of the General Laws for those individuals who have been accepted as clients pursuant to said section 74 of chapter 6 or said chapter 19B for students of all ages.  Said costs can also be covered by any other private or public sources available to the student.

(e) Individuals enrolled under this section shall be required to follow the public institution of higher education's student code of conduct, including Title IX policies, provided that the public institution of higher education shall provide reasonable accommodations for these individuals and shall provide the code of conduct in a manner that is fully accessible.

(f) Students eligible to participate in public institutions of higher education pursuant to this section shall be eligible to apply for financial assistance from scholarship programs included in section 16.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of Chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “opportunities”, in line 10 , the following words:- , including individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental disabilities.              

SECTION 3. Said section 1 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line20 , the second time it appears, the following word:- “and”.

SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “levels”, in line 25, the following words:- ; and

(d) to provide inclusive educational opportunities for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities in order to improve academic achievement, develop employment and independent living skills, and enhance the learning environment for all citizens.             

SECTION 5. The fourth paragraph of Section 7 of said Chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “students”, in line 33 , the following:- , and students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental disabilities.

SECTION 6. Section 7A of said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 26, the word “and”. 

SECTION 7. Said section 7A of said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “sources”, in line 26, the following words:- ; and (10) improving access for students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

SECTION 8. Said section 7A of said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 86, the word “and”.

SECTION 9. Said section 7A of said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “sources”, in line 87, the following words:- ; and (10) to improve access for students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.

SECTION 10. Said chapter 15A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after

section 27 the following section: 27A:-

Section 27A. The board of higher education, in consultation with the inclusive concurrent enrollment advisory board, the executive office of education, the department of elementary and secondary education, and the executive office of health and human services shall take steps necessary to include students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental disabilities in the residence life of all public institutions of higher education, with accommodations, supports, and services necessary to enable inclusive dormitory living.

SECTION 11. The secretary of education and the secretary of health and human services shall, as necessary, develop inter-agency agreements, policies and practices with the department of higher education, the department of elementary and secondary education, public institutions of higher education, school committees, the department of developmental services, the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission and other relevant agencies in order to maximize federal financial participation through Medicaid, maximize federal financial aid, and address any other issues necessary for successful inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders or other developmental disabilities in higher education.

SECTION 12:  Chapter 71B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 16 the following section: -

Section 17:  Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative

(a) Subject to appropriation, the executive office of education shall develop and administer a discretionary grant program to provide monies to school committees and public institutions of higher education partnering to offer inclusive concurrent enrollment initiative options for school-aged children, ages 18 to 21, inclusive with disabilities.  The program shall be limited to students: (i) who are considered to have severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or other developmental disabilities; and (ii) for students age 18 to 19, inclusive, with severe disabilities who have been unable to achieve the competency determination necessary to pass the statewide assessment test pursuant to section 1D of chapter 69.

(b) The grant program shall enable school committees to partner with public institutions of higher education in order to assist in meeting the transitional needs of eligible students pursuant to subsection (a), which shall include facilitating movement from school to post-school activities and competitive employment. Said grant program shall be based on a results oriented process focused on improving academic and functional achievement in accordance with the provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(c) The grant program shall allow participation of any relevant state or other agency serving students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities, including, but not limited to, the department of developmental services, the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission or other vocational rehabilitation agency or organization to support student academic success, participation in student life of the college community and competitive employment.

(d) The grant program shall support partnerships that provide : (i) participation in credit-bearing and non-credit courses that include students without disabilities, including participation in credit-bearing courses in audit status for students who may not meet course prerequisites; (ii) participation in on-campus student life activities; (iii) preparation for competitive employment; (iv) the waiver of tuition for courses by the public institution of higher education; (v) the provision of supports and services necessary to facilitate a student’s participation and support inclusion in academic courses, extracurricular activities, internships, work experiences and other aspects of the public institution of higher education’s regular postsecondary program; (vi) training and technical assistance for teachers, faculty and personnel regarding strategy and teaching methodology to achieve successful inclusion of individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities; (vii) full inclusion of students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities with nondisabled students in all aspects of higher education including, but not limited to, academic and social activities; and (viii) the utilization of person-centered planning in the development of the course of study for each participating student. Partnerships with institutions of higher education that offer dormitory living may also include opportunities for students with severe intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities to live in residential housing offered to nondisabled students with the accommodations, supports and services necessary to enable inclusive dormitory living if it is offered by the public institute of higher education.

(e) The executive office of education shall establish an inclusive concurrent enrollment advisory board to advise the executive office of education on efforts to implement inclusive concurrent enrollment and to participate in educational outreach efforts related to inclusive concurrent enrollment. The inclusive concurrent enrollment advisory board shall include the following members or their designees: the inclusive concurrent enrollment coordinator , who shall serve as chair; the secretary of education, the commissioner of higher education; the commissioner of elementary and secondary education; the commissioner of developmental services; the commissioner of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission; a representative of Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Inc.; a representative of The Federation for Students with Special Needs, Inc.; a representative of the Institute for Community Inclusion; at least 2 representatives of school districts and public institutions of higher education that have successfully implemented inclusive concurrent enrollment initiatives, to be appointed by the chair; and 2 students who are participating or have participated in an inclusive concurrent enrollment program, to be appointed by the chair. The inclusive concurrent enrollment advisory board shall meet at least quarterly. Members of the advisory board shall serve without compensation.

(f) Subject to appropriation, the executive office of education shall designate an inclusive concurrent enrollment coordinator to manage grant administration and coordinate reporting.

SECTION 13. Section 2 of Chapter 71B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “department”, in line 53, the following words:-

; and (12) For older students ages 18-21, inclusive, options including continuing education, enrollment in credit and noncredit courses that include students without disabilities in an institution of higher education, development of independent living skills, development of skills necessary for seeking, obtaining, and maintaining jobs, development of skills to access community services, and development of skills for self-management of medical needs.

SECTION 14. The department of higher education and the department of elementary secondary education, in consultation with the inclusive concurrent enrollment initiative advisory board, state university council of presidents or designee, the university of Massachusetts office of the president or designee and executive director of Massachusetts community colleges or designee shall issue guidelines pursuant to section 17 of chapter 71B of the General Laws on or before June 15, 2018.