Kevin and Avonte’s Law Helps Address Wandering of Autistic Children

26 Nov 2018

With rare bipartisan support, Kevin and Avonte’s Law was introduced in November of 2017. Named for two children with Autism who died by drowning, Kevin Curtis Wills, who died in 2008 at the age of nine in Jefferson, Iowa; and Avonte Oquendo who was a high school student who drowned in the East River in New York in 2014. Both boys had been diagnosed with autism and drowned after wandering away from supervised settings.

The bill passed the Senate by voice vote and provides nearly two million dollars in funding to train law enforcement, schools, families, and community organizations on ways they can prevent and address wandering among people who have developmental disabilities and conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, in which wandering is common. It was passed as part of the Omnibus Spending Act of 2018 and the legislation itself can be found on page 1937.

Led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa the bill was also sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota, Senator Thom Tillis (R) of North Carolina, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D) of New York and signed into law by President Trump.

The bill also provides for the deployment of technology to help reunite missing family members when tragedies occur, such as children going missing from their homes or caregivers and helps track missing children, so they can be reunited with their families with the aid of GPS tracking.

When it comes to GPS tracking devices used for children and adults who have developmental disabilities or forms of dementia that render them prone to wandering, every effort must be made to ensure the tracking technology is all of the following:

  • Voluntary
  • Non-permanent
  • Non-invasive

There are also restrictions on how the information collected from these devices can be used, which is only for the purpose of preventing injury or death to the person equipped with the device.

The law, which is highly praised by the Autism Society, will be instrumental in helping families develop pro-active plans for dealing with people who have autism and other disabilities who wander by providing not only essential training to first responders and families alike.

Kevin and Avonte’s Law will also provide the necessary funding to help communities and families get access to the tools they need to keep their loved ones safe. The hope of every lawmaker involved in the bill is that it will protect other families from the agony these families have faced.

We offer a variety of GPS tracking devices suitable to help locate wandering autistic children. Reach out to us today here at LiveViewGPS with any questions about the GPS tracking devices we offer and the benefits they provide. Call us at  1-888-544-0494.

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