AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A DEFINITION OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY CONSISTENT WITH THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF INTELLECTUAL AND 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 of chapter 123B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of “Person with an intellectual disability” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-
“Person with an intellectual disability”, a person who has an intellectual disability, characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills and beginning before age 18, and consistent with the most recent definition provided by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; provided, that in applying this definition the following shall be considered: (i) limitations in present functioning within the context of community environments typical of the individual’s age, peers and culture; (ii) cultural and linguistic diversity and differences in communication, sensory, motor and behavioral factors; (iii) limitations often coexist with strengths within an individual; (iv) an important purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports; and (v) with appropriate personalized supports over a sustained period, the life functioning of a person with an intellectual disability will generally improve; and provided further, that a person who has an intellectual disability may be considered to be mentally ill; provided, however, that no person with an intellectual disability shall be considered to be mentally ill solely by reason of the person’s intellectual disability.
Approved, January 8, 2013.