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Calls to Action

Avonte's Law

August 07, 2014

(August 7, 2014) - New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio today signed "Avonte's Law," which requires the city's Department of Education and police to evaluate which school doors should be alarmed to help prevent wandering incidents by students. The law is named for Avonte Oquendo, the Queens teenager with autism who died after wandering from his school last October. The city council passed the bill 49-0 in a vote last month.

June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC (June 17, 2014) -- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced "Avonte's Law," a bill that would provide $10 million a year in federal funding over five years to local law enforcement agencies to acquire tracking devices to protect children with disabilities who wander and to train police on how to interact with people with disabilities.

January 30, 2014

New York (January 30, 2014) - A twelve-year-old boy from Queens is back in the arms of his mother after wandering from home this morning.

It is an example of how successful a quick and united response can be to find missing children with autism.

Brandon Betancourt’s mom was reportedly putting his sibling on the bus around 7 a.m. when he ran from her. She immediately called 911 and a search was launched.

January 29, 2014

New York (January 29, 2014) - U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on Wednesday announced the federal government is going to pay for voluntary tracking devices for children with autism.

The announcement follows in the wake of the death of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old boy with autism from Queens who bolted from his Long Island City school on October 4, 2013 . Avonte’s body was found in the East River in Queens last week. 

January 29, 2014

Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2014)  - Senator Chuck Schumer (D - NY) questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about funding for "Avonte's Law" at today's meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Check back for video from today's hearing.