HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1026        FILED ON: 1/15/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1218

 

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 who have exited special education.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Carmine Lawrence Gentile

13th Middlesex

Diana DiZoglio

First Essex

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

James Arciero

2nd Middlesex

Bruce J. Ayers

1st Norfolk

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Christine P. Barber

34th Middlesex

Michael J. Barrett

Third Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Natalie M. Blais

1st Franklin

Michael D. Brady

Second Plymouth and Bristol

Paul Brodeur

32nd Middlesex

Antonio F. D. Cabral

13th Bristol

Daniel Cahill

10th Essex

Gerard J. Cassidy

9th Plymouth

Mike Connolly

26th Middlesex

Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth

Daniel R. Cullinane

12th Suffolk

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Angelo L. D'Emilia

8th Plymouth

Linda Dean Campbell

15th Essex

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Mindy Domb

3rd Hampshire

William J. Driscoll, Jr.

7th Norfolk

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Nika C. Elugardo

15th Suffolk

Paul R. Feeney

Bristol and Norfolk

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Carole A. Fiola

6th Bristol

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Susan Williams Gifford

2nd Plymouth

Carlos González

10th Hampden

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Danielle W. Gregoire

4th Middlesex

Richard M. Haggerty

30th Middlesex

James K. Hawkins

2nd Bristol

Stephan Hay

3rd Worcester

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Natalie M. Higgins

4th Worcester

Bradford Hill

4th Essex

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

Daniel J. Hunt

13th Suffolk

Randy Hunt

5th Barnstable

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Bradley H. Jones, Jr.

20th Middlesex

Hannah Kane

11th Worcester

Patrick Joseph Kearney

4th Plymouth

James M. Kelcourse

1st Essex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf

17th Worcester

Jack Patrick Lewis

7th Middlesex

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

Adrian C. Madaro

1st Suffolk

Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

28th Middlesex

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Christina A. Minicucci

14th Essex

Mathew J. Muratore

1st Plymouth

Brian W. Murray

10th Worcester

Tram T. Nguyen

18th Essex

Patrick M. O'Connor

Plymouth and Norfolk

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Elizabeth A. Poirier

14th Bristol

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

John H. Rogers

12th Norfolk

Jeffrey N. Roy

10th Norfolk

Angelo M. Scaccia

14th Suffolk

Todd M. Smola

1st Hampden

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

José F. Tosado

9th Hampden

Paul F. Tucker

7th Essex

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

Andres X. Vargas

3rd Essex

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

John C. Velis

4th Hampden

David T. Vieira

3rd Barnstable

Tommy Vitolo

15th Norfolk

Bud L. Williams

11th Hampden

Jonathan D. Zlotnik

2nd Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1026        FILED ON: 1/15/2019

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1218

By Representatives Haddad of Somerset and Garballey of Arlington, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1218) of Patricia A. Haddad, Sean Garballey and others relative to creating higher education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and other developmental disabilities who have exited special education.  Higher Education.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
(2019-2020)

_______________

 

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

 

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.  The secretary of health and human services shall convene a task force no later than January 1, 2020 in order to develop and pilot mechanisms to support institutions of higher education offering opportunities to include individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders or other severe developmental disabilities over the age of 21.  The task force shall consist of the following members or their designees: the commissioner of higher education; the commissioner of the department of developmental services;  the commissioner of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission; the president of Bridgewater State University; the president of Westfield State University;  the president of Holyoke Community College; the president of Massachusetts Bay Community College; the president of Salem State University;   the Chancellor of UMass Amherst; the director of the UMass Boston institute for community inclusion; the executive director of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress;  the executive director of  the Massachusetts Advocates for Children; and any other members chosen by the secretary. 

Section 2.  Section 30 of chapter 15A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 30  the following section: -

Section 30(A)   (a) In order to provide individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders, or other severe developmental disabilities over age 21 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, these 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 participate in undergraduate 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 to select students participating in higher education pursuant to this section, including but not limited to guidelines to determine campus capacity and to coordinate  selection of students with relevant local, state or other public agencies serving students with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders, and other severe developmental disabilities, provided that these individuals may not be denied opportunities to participate in higher education solely due to their intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders 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, undergraduate academic course for credit if they have met the course prerequisites and requirements, or to audit a credit-bearing, undergraduate academic course, consistent with campus policies governing selection of students for audit participation, 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 or audit preference for students with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders, or other severe developmental disabilities, relative to other persons seeking to enroll or audit a course. Nothing in this section shall require a public institution of higher education to include students with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders, or other severe developmental disabilities in graduate and continuing education courses.

(c) Individuals participating in higher education pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be included with nondisabled students in all academic and non-academic opportunities 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, employment and civic engagement. Individual supports and services, shall be made available to support inclusion in academic courses, extracurricular activities and other aspects of campus life; provided however that nothing in this section shall supersede subsections (b) and (d) of this section.

(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) subject  to the availability of federal funding and appropriation, provided under section 74 of Chapter 6 for individuals who are determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services; provided that access to higher education assists in the attainment of an identified employment goal, as determined by the agency, consistent with all applicable regulations, and subject to the development of the Individualized Plan for Employment;  (ii) subject to appropriation, provided under chapter 19B of the General Laws for individuals 22 years of age or older, who are determined eligible for services; provided, that the individual supports and services are determined to be an appropriate support, of the type, frequency and duration identified in an assessment conducted by the department, and subject to the development of the annual individual support plan; and (iii) costs of participation may be covered by any other public or private sources available to the student.

(e)  Participating individuals under this section shall be required to follow the public institution of higher education's student behavioral policies, including the student code of conduct, antidiscrimination and sexual violence policies, provided that the public institution of higher education shall provide such policies in accessible formats and shall provide reasonable accommodations for these individuals in any process instituted thereunder.

(f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any liability against any public institution of higher education, including trustees, officers, administrators, or employees of said institution of higher education.

(g)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating or imposing a specific duty of care, nor shall this section create or impose a private right of action against any public institution of higher education, including trustees, officers, administrators, or employees of said institution of higher education.

Section 3.  Section 2 of this act shall take effect for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities, severe autism spectrum disorders or other severe developmental disabilities in higher education over age 21 on January 1, 2022 or at an earlier date if certified as appropriate by the secretary of education and the secretary of health and human services in a report to the general court; provided that nothing in this section shall prohibit institutions of higher education from offering opportunities to include said individuals over age 21 on a discretionary basis