Congressional Law Protecting Vulnerable People Who Wander Renewed in Senate and Awaits House Approval

Washington, D.C.  —  A bill that helps protect vulnerable adults and children has been passed in the senate for renewal through 2027 and awaits house approval.

For over 20 years, a program was in place to help family and law enforcement find those suffering from Alzheimer’s who had wandered off.  In 2017, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley from Iowa introduced Kevin and Avonte’s Law which expanded that program to include children who suffer from developmental disabilities and have a tendency to wander. The law is named after two young boys who drowned after wandering and was set to expire this year.

“We know that people who suffer from autism, down syndrome, people who have dementia, other developmental disabilities, that sometimes they can go out the door, and especially in the holiday season where it’s cold and people are gathering, we’ve seen increased incidents of this, where they walk away and people can’t find them,” said Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

“These are the most terrifying moments in a parent’s life, for any parent’s life, certainly if you’re a parent of someone with autism. So, hopefully that will reinforce to everybody just how important this is to this community,” said Keith Wargo from Autism Speaks

The program allocates two million dollars per year to law enforcement agencies and community organizers for education and funding to caregivers. That also includes bracelets and other means of monitoring those who have a disposition to wander.

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