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Legislation Introduced To Improve Education for Students with Sensory Disabilities

February 2014 — U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Mark Takano (D-CA) and Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act [H.R. 4040], a new bill to enhance education for students who are blind or have low vision, or are deaf or are hard of hearing.  The bill would amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to implement proper evaluation of children who are blind, have low vision or are deaf or hard of hearing and their educational needs.  Accordingly, the bill would work to ensure that all States provide qualified teachers to meet each child’s needs. The bill is named in honor of Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller’s teacher, and Alice Cogswell, the first female to be educated in a school for the deaf in the United States. Of the bill, Vice President of Programs and Policy at the American Federation of the Blind, Paul Schroeder, noted, "Right now, our schools are not prepared to help children who are visually impaired or hearing impaired develop to their fullest potential, and we are determined to change that. H.R. 4040 would provide vital resources and establish requirements to help students with visual or hearing impairments excel in the classroom, at home, and in their communities."

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.