In order for an investigation to be conducted under the Disabled Persons Protection Commission's (DPPC) governing statute, the suspected abuse must involve a person with a disability ( disabled person) between the ages of eighteen (18) and fifty-nine (59), who has sustained a serious physical injury and/or serious emotional injury as the result of an act or omission by their caretaker(s). The following terms are commonly used statutory definitions that guide the jurisdiction of DPPC:
  • Abuse - an act or omission, which is not self-abuse, and which results in serious physical or emotional injury to a person with a disability.

  • Disabled Person - a person between the ages of eighteen to fifty-nine, inclusive, who is mentally retarded, as defined by section one of chapter one hundred and twenty-three (M.G.L. c.123, s.1) or who is otherwise mentally or physically disabled and as a result of such mental or physical disability prevents or restricts the individual's ability to provide for his/her own daily living needs

  • Caretaker - any state agency or any individuals responsible for the health and welfare of a person with a disability by providing for or directly providing assistance in meeting a daily living need regardless of the location within which such assistance occurs.

  • Act - a caretaker's intentional, reckless, or negligent action regardless of whether the act is performed with an intent to harm.

  • Omission - a caretaker's failure, whether intentional or not, to take action to protect a persons with a disability or to provide for a person with a disability daily living needs to the degree that it causes serious physical or serious emotional injury or both.

  • Serious Physical Injury - impairment of the physical condition of a person with a disability including but not limited to: death, brain damage; permanent disfigurement, any burn; fracture of any bone; subdural hematoma; intramuscular injury; bruising, abrasion, laceration or puncture of the skin; bleeding impairment of a bodily system, function, limb or organ including human skin; bedsores or similar condition or harmful symptoms resulting from the use of medication or chemicals with informed consent or appropriate authorization; or malnutrition or dehydration.

  • Serious Emotional Injury - An injury to the intellectual functioning or emotion state of a person with a disability caused by either the verbal or nonverbal conduct of a caretaker, including but not limited to: coercion, harassment, the inappropriate isolation of a person with a disability from family, friends, or regular activity and verbal assault including but not limited to ridiculing, intimidating, yelling or swearing

Acronyms

  • ALAB - Alleged Abuser

  • ALV - Alleged Victim

  • CCF - County Correctional Facility

  • DDS - Department of Developmental Services

  • DMH - Department of Mental Health

  • DOC - Department of Correction

  • DPH - Department of Public Health

  • DPPC - Disabled Persons Protection Commission

  • DSS - Department of Social Services

  • EEC - Department of Early Education and Care

  • EOEA - Executive Office of Elder Affairs

  • MRC - Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission