Search This Blog

Saturday, March 24, 2018

In the Omnibus, Good News for the Disability Community

Christina Samuels at Education Week:
The spending bill signed into law by President Trump, which includes nearly $71 billion for the Department of Education, also includes a directive for a government watchdog agency to study restraint and seclusion in schools.

The language (shown here on page 65 of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives) tells the Government Accountability Office to "conduct a further study" on the restraint and seclusion data that is reported to the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights.

"There is concern that seclusion and restraint issues continue to be chronically underreported. In particular, GAO is encouraged to evaluate recommendations for improving data collection at any school, including any special education or alternative school, that serves students, ages 3-21. In fulfilling the requested study, the GAO should also include recommendations, including examples of best practices, of how schools are adopting effective alternatives to these practices and reducing the incidence of seclusion and restraint."
The Politics of Autism also discusses the problem of wandering, which has been the topic of legislation before Congress.

A release from Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY):
Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the just unveiled omnibus spending bill includes “Kevin and Avonte’s Law” – a bill that will create and fund a program to provide voluntary tracking devices and expand support services for families who care for someone with autism, dementia, or other special needs, where “bolting,” “elopement,” or “wandering” from parents or caregivers can happen.