On September 21, the special education community gathered at the Massachusetts State House in Boston to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth’s landmark special education law, Chapter 766. Signed in 1972, the law ensures that all students receive an educational program best suited to their needs. The event was an opportunity to salute the public servants, advocates, and educators who brought the vision of Chapter 766 to the students of Massachusetts.
NECC Founder, President, and CEO Vinnie Strully and Executive Director of NECC Southborough Jessica Sassi, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA, were in attendance with other NECC staff members. The program featured a performance by the student choir from the Perkins School for the Blind and remarks from several dignitaries, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Secretary of Education James Peyser, who shared a citation written by Governor Charlie Baker.
The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Association of Approved Special Education Schools (MAAPS), which was founded in 1978 as a statewide association of schools dedicated to providing educational programs and services to students with special needs, particularly students who require specialized education programs and services as guaranteed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 766. MAAPS represents 81 member schools, including NECC, serving approximately 6,800 children with special needs from Massachusetts and other states and countries. MAAPS’ mission is to represent private special education schools in their goal of providing the highest quality education to students with special needs.