U.S. House clears autism tracking device bill: one step closer to Federal Law
At the beginning of December, the U.S. House passed a bill that would provide funding for tracking devices and resources to help kids with autism and other developmental disabilities at risk of wandering. The bill known as the Kevin & Avonte's Law is one step closer to becoming Federal Law.
Currently, the bill offers support for people with Alzheimer's disease who are prone to bolting. The new changes would expand efforts to support children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 346 to 66, but there were some concerns about the privacy and safety of those using the tracking devices.
New language addressing these concerns state that the devices would be non-invasive and non-permanent and that, "the procedure to install the technology or device does not create an external or internal marker or implant a device or other trackable items." These changes would protect the safety of the person wearing the device, while still granting parents and caregivers the ability to track their child's whereabouts.
If the bill passes at the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice will receive $2 million yearly to grant law agencies funding for tracking devices, training and other resources. Parents of children with autism would then request access to these wandering devices, and would never be required by the law to use the devices.
Wandering is a growing concern for parents of children with autism, and these legislative efforts have the ability provide alternative resources for families.
Learn more about Kevin & Avonte's Law at Disability Scoop.