A bill meant to help those with developmental disabilities would allow government agencies to locate people with tracking devices, which has some concerned the measure gives the federal government too much authority and power.

In 2008, Kevin Curtis Wills, a 9-year-old boy with autism, jumped into a river near a park and drowned. In 2014, a 14-year-old boy with autism, Avonte Oquendo, left his school and drowned in a river.

Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.), who chairs the Congressional Autism Caucus and the Alzheimer’s Disease Task Force, introduced a bill called Kevin and Avonte’s Law, otherwise known as H.R. 4919, in an attempt to prevent these types of accidents from happening.

The legislation would permit the Justice Department to award grants to law enforcement agencies and non-profits for training and tracking devices to find individuals with autism or seniors with Alzheimer’s who have wandered away.

“We all empathize with a parent who learns that their child is missing, including and especially when that child has autism or another developmental disability,” Smith said. “When children with a disability or seniors with Alzheimer’s do wander, time and training are essential to ensure their safe return.”

Read more


Related Articles