The Autism Society of America applauds the re-introduction of Kevin and Avonte’s Law of 2017 (S. 2070/HR 4221). First introduced in 2016, the bill would provide essential resources and training for first responders to better prevent and respond to wandering incidents involving individuals with autism and other disabilities. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sponsored the Senate version of the bill along with co-sponsors Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL). Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and co-sponsors Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced a companion bill in the House.
“We are grateful to Senators Chuck Grassley, Amy Klobuchar, Thom Tillis, and Richard Durbin and Representatives Chris Smith, Maxine Waters, and Mike Doyle for leading a bipartisan, bicameral effort to address wandering incidents across the nation,” said Scott Badesch, Autism Society of America President/CEO. “Kevin and Avonte’s Law will help ensure individuals and families impacted by autism feel safe at home and in their communities.”
Kevin and Avonte’s Law permits law enforcement, nonprofits, and other community organizations to receive U.S. Department of Justice grants for the development of training resources to reduce elopement incidents. The bill serves as a critical first step in combating this important issue.