SECTION 1. (a) There is hereby established a special commission to be known as the Massachusetts Supportive Technology Commission, which shall consist of the commissioner of the department of developmental services who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of the department of public health, the commissioner of the department of mental health, or their designees, all of whom shall serve as ex-officio members, two members of the Senate, one of whom shall be a member of the minority party appointed by the minority leader, two members of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a member of the minority party appointed by the minority leader, and ten persons to be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a representative of an organization that works with or advocates on behalf of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, one of whom shall be from the department of developmental services with significant experience using supportive technology to provide services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, one of whom shall be a representative of an intellectual or developmental disability advocacy organization, one of whom shall be familiar with supportive technology research and represents a Massachusetts institution of higher learning, four of whom shall represent service providers who have significant experience using supportive technology to provide services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and one each of whom shall reside or work respectively in greater Boston, southeastern or northeastern Massachusetts, central Massachusetts, and western Massachusetts, one of whom shall be the parent or guardian of a child with an intellectual or developmental disability and who has significant experience with supportive technology, and one of whom shall be a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who has significant experience with the use of supportive technology. Two years prior to the due date of the next report, or whenever a vacancy occurs thereafter, each appointing authority shall make new
appointments to the commission.
(b) The commission is hereby established for the purpose of making an investigation and study relative to supportive technology that positively impacts the lives of residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities at home and in our communities, including but not limited to: (i) making recommendations to develop state policy to encourage the use of supportive technology; (ii) identifying and addressing areas where sufficient support is not currently available or where additional options may be needed to assist those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to gain access to supportive technology; (iii) identifying best practices, effective partnerships, and opportunities for shared services among existing providers, and relevant state agencies, to increase supportive technology opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities; (iv) recommending ways to integrate supportive technology into existing programs to move with children as they grow into adulthood, with a focus on transition-age youth; (v) developing educational materials for relevant providers, state agencies, first responders and families about how supportive technology can have a positive impact on the independence, skills, and abilities of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities; (vi) recommending system-level benchmarks for monitoring use of supportive technology and person-centered outcomes that demonstrate increased quality of life for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Said commission shall provide guidance and advice to the governor, the general court, the secretary of health and human services and commissioner of the department of developmental services relative to current research on supportive technology. The commission may conduct public hearings, forums, or meetings to gather information and to raise awareness of supportive technology, including the sponsorship of or participation in statewide or regional conferences. Said commission shall file a report every 2 years, the first being filed by June 30, 2022, for 10 years, unless the legislature requires otherwise, with the governor and the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, who shall forward the same to the house and senate committees on ways and means, and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities along with recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation, regulations, or other policy changes necessary to carry those recommendations into effect. The special commission may file such interim reports and recommendations as it considers appropriate.
SECTION 2. Section 1 is hereby repealed.
SECTION 3. Section 2 shall take effect on June 30, 2030.
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