[blindkid] FW: [audioourplace] Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students

Eric Calhoun eric at pmpmail.com
Sat Nov 11 22:13:47 UTC 2017

Original Message: 
From: "Linda Gehres" <ljgehres at att.net>
To: <AudioOurPlace at googlegroups.com>
Subject: [audioourplace] Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation
to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired
Sat, 11 Nov 2017 11:23:39 -0800

Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational
Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students


Washington, November 7, 2017


Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito
today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that visual and
hearing-impaired students receive the best possible education.


The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will improve the
effectiveness and
personalization of education and services for students who are deaf, hard
hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.


The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of
education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special
education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education's
mission and
responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all


This bill is named after Alice Cogswell, the first deaf student to be
educated in the United States, and Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller's
teacher. Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) and Congressman David
(WV-1) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives
this year.


"More than one hundred years after Anne Sullivan Macy worked with Helen
at Massachusetts's Perkins School, we are coming together to ensure that
students in the 21st century receive the best education," said Senator
"I am happy to introduce this legislation with Senator Capito to help
blind, and deaf-blind students across the country by improving access to
education and offering them the chance to work with effective educators
trained professionals. Every student should have the opportunity to
their God-given abilities, and our bill will help thousands of students
do just


"It is essential students in West Virginia and across the nation who are
hard of hearing or have vision loss receive the specialized services they
to reach their fullest potential," said Senator Capito. "The
Cogswell-Macy Act
would help ensure the educational needs of these students are better


A copy of the legislation can be found at the link below.


Specifically, the Cogswell-Macy Act would:

.Require states to identify and evaluate children who are visually and
impaired so that appropriate services can be delivered to each student,
report instances when they fall short

.Help parents and educators stay informed and up-to-date through written
guidance released regularly from the Department of Education

.Encourage states to plan for and commit to specialized instruction for
deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind students,
provided by trained personnel

.Establish the Anne Sullivan Macy Center of Vision Loss and Educational
Excellence within the Department of Education to function as a national
to better support students with visual disabilities


"Since 1975, the law has worked wonders in terms of ensuring the right of
student with a disability to be included in our public education system,"
Mark Richert, Policy Director for the American Foundation for the Blind.
what we've never done is to make sure that students, particularly kiddos
who are
blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind, get what
need once they get in the schoolhouse door. With Senate introduction of
Cogswell-Macy Act, we're signaling to everyone that we're not prepared to
for the needs of another generation of students with sensory disabilities
to be
ignored before we work with our amazing champions on the Hill to change


"This bill acknowledges and supports the various ways that deaf and hard
hearing children learn. There is no 'one size fits all' under IDEA, and
Cogswell-Macy Act will provide guidance to states as to how to tailor
individualized education to these students, particularly in the areas of
language and communication," said Sandra Edwards, President of the
Conference of
Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD)
Superintendent of the Mississippi School for the Deaf.


"We are thrilled that the Cogswell-Macy Act will be introduced in the
Senate and
thank Senator Markey for his leadership and passion," said Dave Power,
and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind. "Perkins has been a fierce
advocate in
ensuring that blind, visually-impaired, and deafblind students have
access to
the highest quality services here in Massachusetts and nationally. Their
to fulfill their unique potential requires the strongest possible IDEA
and our
ongoing commitment to seeing its execution."


"When it becomes the law of the land, the Cogswell-Macy Act will empower
students who are deafblind to succeed in the 21st century American
said Mussie Gebre, President of DeafBlind Citizens in Action (DBCA). "As
deafblind people speaking for ourselves, we in DBCA know from personal
experience how providing interveners, qualified teachers, and the whole
range of
instructional services and supports today will make it possible tomorrow
society to fully benefit from the brain power and drive that our
community has
to offer."



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