Senator Craig M. Johnson Hosts Special Needs Forum With Manhasset Septa

Craig M. Johnson

April 28, 2008

Senator Johnson recently held a forum on issues concerning special needs children with the Manhasset Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA.)

Members of the Great Neck and Port Washington SEPTAs were also in attendance at the event, which was held at North Hempstead Town Hall.

"This was a great beginning for what I hope is an ongoing dialog on these issues and on the state's role in assisting special needs children, their parents, and their educators. I thank the SEPTA members for all of their hard work."

During the forum, Senator Johnson answered questions from the audience and unveiled a PowerPoint presentation that included information on services provided by the state Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Nassau County's Early Intervention Program, 2008-2009 budget highlights, and this year's important state legislative updates.

Senator Johnson recently introduced a measure, (S.7595) that provides for a statewide study on the number of children affected by autism spectrum disorder and for the additional training of educators.

Additionally, he is sponsoring legislation (S.5741) to require fingerprinting and criminal background checks for prospective employees of special education schools and special act school districts.

Bob Lopez, the Deputy Director of OMRDD's Long Island Services Office and Anne Carolan of Nassau County's Early Intervention office were also on-hand.