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Senator Bob Casey Introduces Bills for Accessible and Safe Education for Students with Disabilities

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced three bills to make education more accessible and safe for students with disabilities. These policies aim to make transitions to postsecondary education smoother, campus emergency procedures more accurate, accessible, and inclusive of students with disabilities, improve training for school security and staff, and develop stronger federal oversight and support.

The RISE Act

The Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act will provide students with disabilities more affordable options to establish proof of their disability to secure the accommodations they need to thrive in postsecondary education. It will also adopt transparent policies regarding disability services and improve communication of those policies and services to students and their families. Additionally, it will invest $10 million in training college faculty on how best to engage with and support students with disabilities.

The SECuRE Act

The Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education (SECuRE) Act will strengthen the Clery Act, which requires higher education institutions that receive federal financial aid and funding to maintain and disclose campus crime statistics and security information. This bill will require postsecondary institutions to have accessible information and awareness programs about preventing abuse and attacks targeting people with disabilities. It will also ensure that administrative disciplinary hearings are accessible and create more inclusive emergency preparedness protocols and resources accessible to all students regardless of age, developmental stage, and disability status.

The PREP for All Students Act

The Promoting Responsible Emergency Protocols (PREP) for All Students Act will enable early child care and education settings, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education to develop inclusive emergency preparedness protocols. A federal advisory council would develop guidelines for the implementation of accessible, developmentally appropriate, culturally aware, and trauma-informed emergency preparedness protocols and submit their recommendations to Congress.

“Students with disabilities deserve the peace of mind knowing their schools are well-prepared to accommodate them,” Senator Casey said. “By making preparedness plans more inclusive, improving the training of school security and staff, and developing more accurate and accessible emergency procedures, we will send a message to all students that they will be safe and welcome at school.”

Comments

Patricia M Campbell 1932-2024

Pat graduated from Fannett Township High School in 1950 and received her BA in Education from, known then as, Shippensburg State Teachers College. .

James Patrick McNally III 1947-2024

James was known for his dedication and excellence in his professional career, where he made lasting contributions and built strong relationships with his colleagues.

Brenda Jackson Liu 1945-2024

Upon retirement, Brenda worked as a part-time nurse at the Migrant Health in Gettysburg. During this time she traveled to migrant camps all over Pennsylvania.

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