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Tennis Players

ABILITIES Not Disabilities


Disclaimer: These resources are being provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute  legal advice.

"The meaning of disabled is not having any power. But I have the power to do anything I am willing to try. That makes me able."

            - TEYANNA ALFORD,

              young contestant

             "Miss You Can Do It"

As parents or guardians of children with disabilities, you have probably heard some of the terms referred to in this website.

The first resource to consult is the Parent's Notice of Procedural Safeguards that you should have received from your

School District if you have begun the special education eligibility process.


There is also a wealth of information available for free on the internet.


  • Department of Development Services (DDD) - offers services and supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities and children with developmental disabilities. DDS requires that the child have a “severe, chronic disability” such as: Intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Smith-Magenis Syndrome or intellectual disability or other condition that results in “substantial functional limitations” such as: Prader-Willi Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome.


  • Extended School Year (ESY) - Contained in the IEP. This is not "summer school" but a continuation of special education and/or related services to prevent regression or loss of skill. See here for DESE's Question and Answer Guide on Special Education Extended School Year Programs (603 CMR 28.05(4)(d))


  • Age of Majority - Administrative Advisory SPED 2011-1, dated September 20, 2010 (updated September 23, 2010) - "This advisory provides guidance to school districts concerning the transfer of rights under special education law when the student reaches age 18, the age of majority in Massachusetts." 


  • The Autism Insurance Law - Administrative Advisory SPED 2012-1 of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, dated August 22, 2011 (last updated September 1, 2015)

  • Mass Advocates for Children (MAC)  - MAC is a non-profit organization that works with students, families, communities, and at the policy level to remove barriers to education for children across Massachusetts.

  • My Kid is Not Crazy,” a film by Tim Sorel, tracks the journey of six children and their families and how PANDAS has changed their lives. Click here to see the trailer of the movie coming soon.

Disclaimer: The resources listed above are for informational purposes only. The listing of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship with Allexenberg Law nor does it constitute or convey any legal opinion by Allexenberg Law. The websites, and the thoughts expressed and/or information contained therein, is in no way affiliated with Allexenberg Law.  Any action taken based upon the information contained in any of the above-listed websites - or other resources mentioned on Allexenberg Law's website - is at your own risk.

Speech Bubble A+
 Nicky's Act/The Abuse Registry Bill
According to The Arc of Massachusetts, "[t]he Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) screened 11,395 cases [of acts of abuse against individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities] in the past year. In FY 2017, a total of 2,571 investigations were deemed necessary through DPPC screening." On February 13, 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a Bill known as Nicky's Law. Nicky is a young man with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities in a residential program, who was the victim of ongoing physical abuse by an employee of the program where he resides. 
The Bill, which is already enacted in 26 other states, will place the offending staff member's name on a registry where there have been findings of substantiated physical abuse by that staff member. The registry is for Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and DSS funded programs who are looking to hire individuals.

(As an aside, I met Nicky's mother and I was incredibly impressed with her efforts advocating so zealously and effectively for her son.
-  Abra Allexenberg, Esq.)


Nicky's Act

The Abuse Registry Bill


Nicky's Act is responsible for putting

employees, who have been fired for abusing

disabled individuals in residential programs, on

a registry to prevent future employment at other residential programs.


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