About 688 and connecting with adult services

Chapter 688 of the Massachusetts Transition Planning Law provides extra transition planning for students with "significant disabilities."

These are students who will need adult services when they are finished with school.

What will happen?

  • If your child qualifies, the school district will make a 688 referral. This means they will refer your child to the adult service agencies that can meet their needs when they move into adult life after age 22. (Sometimes these are called Transitional Agencies.)

  • They should make this referral at least 2 years before your child leaves school. Your IEP team should help you through this process.

  • The adult service agency will reach out to you by phone or mail. Make sure to respond to them! If they do not hear back from you, they may close the case.

  • You will start talking with the agencies involved, and representatives from the agencies will come to your IEP and Transition Planning meetings.

  • The agencies will develop an Individual Transition Plan (ITP), which describes what support your child will need.

Note: The Individual Transition Plan  does not guarantee services the way an IEP does. Adult servcies depend on state funding and what is available at the time.

Here's what you can do:

  • Make sure your child gets the 688 referral 2 years before they finish school. (If they are in a special education school, this will be by age 20.)

  • Talk about this with your IEP team or Transition Coordinator. Speak up if you need more information!

  • Learn about the agencies they recommend. Make sure that they include the right services to help your child reach their goals for adult life.

  • Be ready to respond to the agency when they contact you. You can always call them directly if you have not heard from them.


Sources: Massachusetts Transition Planning Law, MRC, Federation for Children with Special Needs