The federal government, through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), guarantees the right to education for all students with disabilities from birth to 21.
In Massachusetts, parents and special education advocates worked together to pass Chapter 688, also known as the "Turning 22" law, to address the needs of students for continuing assistance as they make the transition from the educational system to adult life once their mandated special education services have ended. Although Chapter 688 does not continue special education services, it does provide a process through which individuals with intellectual disabilities can be assisted by human service agencies to make the transition to the day, residential, vocational and support services that may be needed. Unfortunately, Chapter 688 does not mandate these services; the provision of services is contingent upon the availability and funding for the needed services.
For more information about Chapter 688, see the following brochure prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Education: