Tom Sannicandro

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Tom Sannicandro
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
from the 7th Middlesex district
In office
January 2005 – January 2017
Preceded by Karen Spilka
Succeeded by Jack Patrick Lewis
Personal details
Born (1956-03-22) March 22, 1956 (age 62)
Framingham, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Anne Sannicandro
Alma mater Brandeis University, PhD
Harvard University, MPA
Suffolk University Law School
College of the Holy Cross
Occupation Director of the Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston

Tom Sannicandro (born March 22, 1956)[1] is an American attorney and businessman. He is currently serving as director of the Institute for Community Inclusion,[2] UMass Boston.[3] He was formerly a State Representative in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for Framingham and Ashland, and a leader on civil rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. where he served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. He sponsored a number of ground breaking initiatives including the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Program,[4] where students with intellectual or developmental disabilities attended Massachusetts public colleges and universities, and the Real Lives Bill,[5] giving individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services control over their lives by controlling their budgets. For more than 15 years he has been a disability attorney, representing students and families to enforce their educational rights, as well as the other legal issues that arise for people with disabilities and their families. As an academic researcher he has published various articles exploring the effect of higher education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities[6] [7] and health care trends for children with special health care needs.[8] As Chair of the Ashland School Committee in 2004, he beat Mary Connaughton for the seat.[9][10] Sannicandro has been called "a strong advocate for education funding and a strong voice for people with disabilities."[11]


Sannicandro is the father of an adult son with special needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and has leveraged these circumstances into a career, advocating as an attorney on behalf of disability needs, in particular children. — And as a seated member of the Massachusetts, House of Representatives, endeavors to expand his contributions towards proactive avocation within the body. The implicit need for such representation is reflected by the two-thirds majority who entrusted this seat upon such a platform. In turn Sannicandro has implemented a website allowing his constituents fluid access and ability to influence the process.[12]


Ph.D. Social Policy, Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy, Waltham, MA, 2016. Doctoral Dissertation Entitled: The Effect of Postsecondary Education on Employment and Income for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities[13] (Susan Parish (Chair) Stephen Fournier, Monika Mitra, Maria Paiewonsky)

M.A. Social Policy, Brandeis University, Heller School of Social Policy, Waltham, MA, 2015

M.P.A. Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA, 2011

J.D. Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA, 1982

B.A. College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 1978


  1. ^ Representative Tom Sannicandro (MA), Project Vote Smart 
  2. ^ "The Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  3. ^ "UMass Boston's Institute for Community Inclusion Hires New Director - University of Massachusetts Boston". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  4. ^ edu (2014-05-27). "Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative". Executive Office of Education. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  5. ^ "Bill H.151". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  6. ^ "College Opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities - Special Needs Resource". Special Needs Resource. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Postsecondary Education Improves Employment and Earnings Outcomes for Individuals with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities". The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. 
  8. ^ Sannicandro, Thomas; Parish, Susan L.; Son, Esther; Powell, Robyn M. (March 2017). "Health Care Changes for Children with Special Health Care Needs, 2005-2011". Maternal and Child Health Journal. 21 (3): 524–530. doi:10.1007/s10995-016-2136-4. ISSN 1573-6628. PMID 27469109. 
  9. ^ Boston Globe Abstract on Election Results,, November 7, 2004 
  10. ^ Official Profile: Massachusetts (MA) State Representative Tom Sannicandro MA House of Representatives, Freedom Speaks 
  11. ^ Editorial: Choices for Election Day, The MetroWest Daily News, October 31, 2010 
  12. ^ Rep. Sannicandro creates 'wiki' page for voter input, The MetroWest Daily News, November 10, 2010 
  13. ^ "The Effect of Postsecondary Education on Employment and Income for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities - ProQuest". Retrieved 2017-06-25. 

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