Developing Congressional Champions for Progressive Disability Policy

The harmful use of restraint and seclusion is a pervasive, nationwide problem. Federal legislation is essential to provide children in all states equal protection from these dangerous techniques and to create a cultural shift toward preventive, positive intervention strategies. Currently, the Keeping All Students Safe Act (H.R. 1893, S. 2036), established to limit the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, has 66 co-sponsors in the House and 4 co-sponsors in the Senate. Federal legislation restricting the use of restraint and seclusion would go a long way toward maintaining a healthy educational environment for both students and teachers and assuring parents that their children are safe in our nation’s schools.

This year at the 2014 TASH Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Capitol Hill Day on Wednesday, December 3rd. The day will begin with the Developing Congressional Champions for Progressive Disability Policy workshop in the beautiful Russell Senate Office Building. The workshop will help attendees build the skills necessary for effective advocacy in their state.

Following the workshop, attendees will meet with Congressional members, staff, and seasoned advocates on Capitol Hill on matters of importance, such as restraint and seclusion use in schools. This is the perfect opportunity for attendees to help secure additional co-sponsors for the Keeping All Students Safe Act. TASH has developed a helpful toolkit to assist Capitol Hill attendees with persuading his or her state Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor the bill. The toolkit consists of powerful data to share, contact information for offices interested in co-sponsorship, issue briefs on each bill, and more! You can view the co-sponsor recruitment toolkit here.

Please join TASH on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, December 3rd. Registration for Capitol Hill Day ends on November 1st, so be sure to register today. Although the Capitol Hill visits will occur late in this Congressional session, they are perfectly timed for positioning TASH’s requests for action in 2015.