Senate And Assembly Mental Health Chairmen Introduce Legislation Requiring Specialized Training For School Bus Personnel Who Transport Disabled Children

Thomas P. Morahan

June 05, 2006

Senator Thomas P. Morahan, Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, joined Assembly Mental Health Chair Peter M. Rivera, and the family of P J Rossi, an 8-year-old autistic child recently abused while under the care of school bus staff - in calling on the members of the New York State Legislature to pass legislation (S.7469/A.10071)that will help protect the safety of children with disabilities while traveling on school buses.

Morahan/Rivera legislation will require twice-per-year training for school bus staff who transport children with disabilities. The staff development, which will include sensitivity training, will be developed for school bus operators by the NYS Commission on Quality Care and Advocacy for People with Disabilities. For decades, the commission has been responsible for improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, as well as protecting their rights.

"It is critical to set and enforce clear guidelines for detecting and preventing any sort of abuse of children with disabilities," said Morahan.