Turning 22 - Mass. Rehabilitation Commission

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Mass. Rehabilitation Commission Turning 22 program funds services for eligible young adults with disabilities who have graduated from special education. This line item pays only for the share of services provided during the transition year in which the young adult turns 22.

When students with disabilities reach their 22nd birthday, they are no longer eligible for the services to which they were entitled under the state’s special education laws. Chapter 688 of the Acts of 1983 (the “Turning 22” law) provides that each young adult will have a personalized transition plan describing the potential service needs for this young adult, but does not guarantee that the Commonwealth will provide those services.

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) offers vocational rehabilitation services to young adults with a physical or mental impairment. To be eligible for services, a young adult must be able to benefit from and require these services for successful employment. Services tend to be time-limited. MRC provides services based on priorities referred to as "order of selection."

In addition, MRC supports a Turning 22 Independent Living Program, providing transition services for young people who have a severe physical disability with a mobility impairment who need residential services after high school graduation or upon turning 22. The program is based on an "independent living philosophy."

The MRC Supported Living Program is for young adults who are in a special education school, who are between 18 and 22 years of age, are their own legal guardian, and have a severe physical disability with mobility impairment. Case coordinators help the students manage their daily activities, and staff work with school personnel to coordinate services for students who will be graduating.

The Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP) provides supports for students aged 14-22 (primarily from the Mass. Hospital School) who have physical disabilities who have mobility impairments. Trainers, who themselves have a disability, provide advocacy, skills training, and peer counseling to young people with disabilities in their school setting.

The MRC Turning 22 program can also purchase adaptive equipment for items designed to increase a consumer’s independence.

Updated February 2017

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