New law eases IQ eligibility for state services

Jan 11, 2013

After a rally launching at Boston Latin School on March 24, 2007, Governor Patrick met with a small group of local political bloggers.
Credit Richard Howe / Flickr

BOSTON (AP) — Advocates for people with developmental disabilities are hailing a decision by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to sign a bill easing IQ eligibility restrictions for services.

The new law will prevent the state Department of Developmental Services from automatically denying eligibility to people scoring above 70 on IQ tests.

Advocates say that will make it easier for people with borderline limitations in intellectual functioning to access critical state services.

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals in July invalidated earlier regulations, adopted in 2006, that allowed the Department to create a cutoff of eligibility at an IQ score of 70.

Thomas Frain, an attorney who represented a woman in the appeals court case, said the new law would open the door for services to thousands of people, particularly those who have autism.