Massachusetts is looking closely at how to better support the transition services requirements of IDEA 2004. On March 9, 2012 the Governor Patrick signed H. 3720 (formerly H.159) An Act to Promote the Successful Transition of Students with Disabilities
At the Massachusetts 2012 Employment Matters! Conference, Ilene Asarch was named Job Developer of the Year. Ms. Asarch received this honor for her long-standing efforts to include transition-age students with disabilities in the workforce. She was nominated by Pat Pakos from the Arc of Massachusetts and Cathy Heller, Director of Student Support Services in the Needham Public Schools.
Easter Seals Project Action released an updated version of You Can Ride, a pictorial guide for people traveling on a bus or subway. It is designed for those who cannot read or do not use English. The booklet depicts steps for traveling from planning the trip to arriving at the destination. The 2012 version includes photographs of people riding the bus rather than drawings as did the 2001 version.
On October 11, 2011, students Karla Portillo from Boston, Cassidy Bauer from Boylston, Rachel Hartley from Westfield, and Brian Heffernan from Newton presented testimony before Massachusetts legislators on the impact that the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment initiative has had on their lives. Also providing testimony was Ty Hanson, learning specialist at Holyoke Community College, Judy Vaillancourt, Director of Pupil Personnel services for the Berlin-Boylston Public Schools, and attorney and parent Dan Heffernan.
On November 3, 2011, students Karla Portillo and Brian Heffernan joined Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts, to present Representative Tom Sannicandro with the Legislator of the Year Award at the Mass Advocates for Children annual celebration. Representative Sannicandro was honored for his pioneering work on behalf of individuals with disabilities.