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.
Schumer announced new legislation called "Avonte's Law" over the weekend to provide voluntary tracking devices for families with children with autism.
The commitment that the Justice Department would use existing grant funds to pay for tracking devices was made by Attorney General Eric Holder at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday morning.
“Investments in tracking devices and other support systems are critical to the safety and well-being of individuals affected by autism,” said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks. “Attorney General Holder’s statement is an important step in the broader effort to educate and raise awareness about the issue of wandering within the autism community. We are encouraged by his commitment as we all work to ensure that Avonte Oquendo did not die in vain.”