Rep. Campbell Celebrates ‘Nicky’s Law’ Enactment; Protects Disabled Individuals From Abuse

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell shakes hands with Gov. Charlie Baker after he signed Nicky’s Law, (Courtesy photograph.)

Nicky’s Law, filed by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell and Sen. Michael Moore in 2017, is now the law in Massachusetts.

The new law protects individuals with disabilities from abuse at the hands of care providers. The law originally earned support in the state legislature due to advocacy efforts of The Arc of Massachusetts and the Disability Law Center.

“Nicky’s Law is such a critical safeguard for our community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who often cannot communicate that they are being abused. The testimony of families and caretakers of victims made clear that this new law will go a long way toward protecting our fellow human beings,” said Campbell.

During the ceremonial bill signing at the State House, Gov. Charlie Baker commented on the personal nature of the legislation and the impact it has in the future. He also commended the families for their courage.

The law creates a registry of care providers who have been found through investigation to have committed abuse against their clients. Disability service providers cannot hire anyone listed on the registry. The registry is maintained by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission who is in charge of investigating reports.

Serving as a model for future registries, Nicky’s law provides a template for workforce accountability and responsibility.

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