Kevin and Avonte’s Bill One Step Closer to Becoming Law
A post by AngelSense, a GPS & voice monitoring solution designed for children with special needs.
Learn more about how AngelSense’s GPS tracking device can help improve your child’s safety and well-being.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Kevin and Avonte’s Law (H.R. 4919) which aims to protect children with special needs from the dangers of wandering. While this marks a significant milestone for the special needs community, the bill still has a ways to go before becoming law. The Senate already unanimously approved an earlier version of the legislation back in July, but now it’s to be sent back to the Senate for reconsideration.
The legislation was named in honor of two young boys with autism who drowned after wandering from safety. In 2014, Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year old boy with autism, drowned in the East River after he wandered from his school in Queens. A similar incident occurred in 2008, when Kevin Curtis, a 9-year old with autism, drowned after he jumped into the Raccoon River in Iowa. These tragedies serve as a painful reminder that more needs to be done to safeguard our special children from the dangers of wandering.
How will Kevin and Avonte’s Law keep our children safe?
This legislation is an extension of the Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program and aims to promote initiatives to protect children with special needs who are prone to wander. Should this become law, it will ensure schools and law enforcement agencies get the necessary funding needed to train first responders to deal with wandering incidents. This will make it easier for these institutions to develop emergency protocols to protect children who wander. The law will also make funding available for tracking solutions, like the AngelSense GPS Tracker, to ensure wandering incidents don’t end in tragedy.
Recently, there has been some opposition to this bill on the grounds that it could violate privacy laws. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, said in response: “We have worked hard to address the privacy concerns that some have raised about this bill. The updated language makes it explicitly clear that this is a completely voluntary program, that all tracking devices must be non-invasive, and that the federal government may not store location data related to the devices. Finally, we make it clear that such devices are only to be recommended where they are the least restrictive alternative.”
Kevin and Avonte’s Law could go a long way towards raising awareness and saving thousands of children with special needs across the U.S. AngelSense is proud to support such an initiative and we’re confident that it will improve the lives of countless special needs families. “Kevin and Avonte’s Law will help prevent tragedies of these kind from reoccurring. With life saving technology, like AngelSense, in the hands of those who need it most, families will finally gain the peace of mind they so desperately need,” said Doron Somer, AngelSense CEO.
You can monitor the progress of Kevin and Avonte’s Law of 2016 (H.R. 4919) here.
AngelSense is committed to creating a safer world for special needs children. We designed the AngelSense GPS tracking solution to give parents the peace of mind that their child is safe at all times. You deserve peace of mind too. Try AngelSense Today.