This week, the Nicky and Dana’s Law team came together again to share the powerful journey of the passage of the Massachusetts Abuser Registry legislation at the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) Conference in Boston this week.
The story of Nicky and Dana’s Law started back in 2014-15, when abuse against both these young men happened. The wheels were already turning at The Arc with our work as part of a statewide task force on a possible Abuse Registry. These families, their legislators, and The Arc along with many others began to work together to protect our most vulnerable citizens from serial abusers by passing a law that created an Abuse Registry that prevents individuals substantiated of abuse from working for the Department of Developmental Disabilities again.
Cheryl Ryan Chan (Nicky’s mom), Ann and Paul Joyce (Dana’s parents), Hillary Dunn Stanisz of the Disability Law Center, Julie Westwater of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), and Maura Sullivan of The Arc were part of a panel presentation that captivated and motivated the NAPSA attendees.
The Abuser Registry has been functional for two years. There are 237 employers using the checking the registry and currently, 76 individuals are listed on the registry (hiring them is legally prohibited).