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

Carol Castellano carol.joyce.castellano at gmail.com
Sun Nov 12 22:16:45 UTC 2017

Not a good bill, from the Federation standpoint.  Seeks to take away the
"braille presumption" which we fought so hard to get.  Also concerned about
the so-called Center of Vision Loss and Educational Excellence they seek to



Carol Castellano
Parents of Blind Children-NJ
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
carol_castellano at verizon.net

On Sat, Nov 11, 2017 at 5:13 PM, Eric Calhoun via blindkid <
blindkid at nfbnet.org> wrote:

> 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
> Students
> Date:
> 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
> (R-W.V.)
> today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the
> Individuals
> 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
> of
> hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.
> The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of
> special
> 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
> students.
> This bill is named after Alice Cogswell, the first deaf student to be
> formally
> educated in the United States, and Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller's
> famous
> teacher. Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) and Congressman David
> McKinley
> (WV-1) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives
> earlier
> this year.
> "More than one hundred years after Anne Sullivan Macy worked with Helen
> Keller
> at Massachusetts's Perkins School, we are coming together to ensure that
> students in the 21st century receive the best education," said Senator
> Markey.
> "I am happy to introduce this legislation with Senator Capito to help
> deaf,
> blind, and deaf-blind students across the country by improving access to
> quality
> education and offering them the chance to work with effective educators
> and
> trained professionals. Every student should have the opportunity to
> maximize
> their God-given abilities, and our bill will help thousands of students
> do just
> that."
> "It is essential students in West Virginia and across the nation who are
> deaf,
> hard of hearing or have vision loss receive the specialized services they
> need
> to reach their fullest potential," said Senator Capito. "The
> Cogswell-Macy Act
> would help ensure the educational needs of these students are better
> met."
> 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
> hearing
> impaired so that appropriate services can be delivered to each student,
> and
> report instances when they fall short
> .Help parents and educators stay informed and up-to-date through written
> policy
> guidance released regularly from the Department of Education
> .Encourage states to plan for and commit to specialized instruction for
> all
> 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
> resource
> to better support students with visual disabilities
> "Since 1975, the law has worked wonders in terms of ensuring the right of
> every
> student with a disability to be included in our public education system,"
> said
> Mark Richert, Policy Director for the American Foundation for the Blind.
> "But
> 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
> they
> need once they get in the schoolhouse door. With Senate introduction of
> the
> Cogswell-Macy Act, we're signaling to everyone that we're not prepared to
> wait
> 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
> things."
> "This bill acknowledges and supports the various ways that deaf and hard
> of
> hearing children learn. There is no 'one size fits all' under IDEA, and
> the
> 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)
> and
> 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,
> President
> 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
> ability
> 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
> classroom,"
> 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
> for
> society to fully benefit from the brain power and drive that our
> community has
> to offer."
> https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-
> markey-and-capito
> -int
> roduce-legislation-to-improve-educational-opportunities-for-
> visual-and-heari
> ng-i
> mpaired-students
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