As you know, the Executive Committee of the National Coalition on Deafblindness has been working to include language related to the education of children and youth with deafblindness in federal legislation, the Alice Cogswell and Anne Macy Sullivan Act. This bill was introduced into Congress in February of 2014 and was meant to reform education for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and for children who are blind or visually impaired.
Because the educational needs of children with deafblindness were not specifically addressed in that version of the Cogswell/Macy Act, the Executive Committee contacted the leaders of the legislative efforts (Mark Richert from the blind and visually impaired community and Barbara Raimondo from the deaf and hard of hearing community) and requested that, before the bill was reintroduced into Congress in 2015, wording be added to address the educational needs of children and youth who are deafblind. During the Fall of 2014, the Committee gathered input from the field and worked with Barbara and Mark to draft what is now known as Title III of the Cogswell/Macy Act. Among other language, Title III includes wording which:
- Designates intervener services in the “related services” listing
- Reflects the need for the recognition of and training for teachers of the deafblind
- Adapts the federal definition of deafblindness
- Requires each state to specifically address deafblind issues in the development of its state plan
The newest version of the Cogswell/Macy Act, with Title III included, has now been reviewed and revised by the congressional sponsor, and we’ve been given permission to disseminate this version, with the understanding that a few minor revisions may still be made. The wording of Title III begins on page 40.
The Cogswell/Macy Act, now titled H.R. 3535, was introduced into Congress on September 17, 2015. Click here to view the Press Release. To view the current Cogswell/Macy Act, please click this link: Cogswell Macy CARTPA 025.