Chapter 688 is a law in Massachusetts addressing the needs of young adults with severe disabilities as they end their public-school education and transition into the adult service system. It requires a planning process to start at least two-year before graduation from high school or when special education services end, whichever comes first. At that time, the school district makes a Chapter 688 referral directly to human services agencies as well as to the Bureau of Transition Planning. Adult agencies in Massachusetts include the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). Since special education services can continue until the child turns age 22, the law is also known as the “Turning 22 law”.
Even with a referral to an adult services agency, family or caregivers must submit an application for the student to the chosen agency. The family should also follow up to make sure the agency received the application to avoid any unnecessary confusion or delay when the student leaves high school.