More fabulous news!
Last night, the state Senate approved all 9 restraint/seclusion bills by votes of 36-1 or 37-0. The bills now go to the Governor for signature.
This is a tremendous victory for children with disabilities. For the first time, Michigan will have a statutory limit on the use of restraint or seclusion, bans on particularly dangerous practices such as prone restraint, mandatory notice and reporting, prevention planning, and training for school staff with state money attached. MPAS has been working on this issue for at least 13 years. We still have work to do in figuring out the enforcement and getting real support into classrooms to change the restraint/seclusion culture where it exists, but this is a good start.
Thank you to everyone who helped, from the attorneys that handled the three case examples we presented to the Senate Education Committee, to the I&R advocates who asked the survey questions that generated the data that addressed the concerns of at least one senator, to our board members who made themselves available to talk with legislators. It took everyone to make this happen.