Kevin and Avonte's Law

Kevin and Avonte’s Law protects children with autism or other developmental disabilities who may wander away from safety.

The law promotes initiatives that reduce the risk of injury or death related to the wandering characteristics of some children with autism.

Kevin and Avonte’s Law is named in honor of two boys with autism who perished after wandering. Nine-year-old Kevin Curtis Wills wandered from home, slipped into Iowa’s Raccoon River and drowned in 2008. Fourteen-year-old Avonte Oquendo wandered away from his school and drowned in New York City’s East River in 2014.

It amends the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and reauthorizes the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program. It allows Justice Department grants to be used by law enforcement agencies and nonprofits for programs to:

  • Facilitate training and emergency protocols for school personnel
  • Provide first responders with additional information and resources
  • Make locating technology programs available for individuals who may wander from caregivers

On March 23, 2018, Kevin and Avonte’s Law was passed as a legislative addition to the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill (.pdf).

We continue to work on funding and implementation of Kevin and Avonte’s Law.

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