CEASD is pleased to announce that the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act has been introduced in the current Congressional session. It was introduced on a bipartisan, bicameral basis by Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA 08) and David McKinley (R-WV 01) and Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
Named for the first deaf student to be formally educated in the U.S. and the beloved teacher of Helen Keller, respectively, the bill is designed to enhance the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to better meet the needs of students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deafblind.
The Act will ensure that:
every child who is deaf, every child who is blind, and every child who is deaf-blind, regardless of whether they have additional disabilities, will be properly counted and served;
each of a child's learning needs will be properly evaluated;
states will engage in strategic planning to be sure that they can meet each child's specialized needs;
the U.S. Department of Education will do its part to hold states and schools accountable; and
students will be served by qualified personnel.
The bill is endorsed by nearly 80 national, state, and local organizations representing individuals who are deaf, blind, or deafblind.
Upon the bill’s introduction CEASD President David Geeslin noted “School systems have been required to appropriately serve deaf and hard of hearing students since IDEA was passed, however, many gaps in services remain. Deaf and hard of hearing students can achieve to high levels when their language, communication, and educational needs are addressed. The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will help ensure that personnel and resources are available to support the success of these students.”