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A coalition of disability advocacy groups is beginning to splinter after a revised restraint and seclusion bill introduced in the Senate last month opened the door for the practices to be included in students’ individualized education plans, or IEPs.

 

The National Disability Rights Network — an umbrella group for the protection and advocacy organizations in each state — is now publicly supporting the new Senate bill, which allows restraint and seclusion to be included in IEPs under certain circumstances. Curt Decker, the group’s executive director, calls it a “political compromise” that is necessary in order to protect students, many of whom live in states with no regulations over the use of restraint and seclusion.

 

“In a perfect world (restraint and seclusion) would not belong in such a document,” Decker says of the IEP. “I know there are a lot of parents who feel very strongly about this, but for those of us who work in Washington, we know that an absolute ban is a non-starter.”

 

The news comes as the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, or COPAA, said just last week that they oppose the measure as it is now being considered, arguing that allowing restraint and seclusion in IEPs “legitimizes practices that the bill seeks to prevent.”

 

Both groups are part of a coalition of nearly two dozen national disability advocacy groups known as The Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion, or APRAIS, that helped secure passage of a bill in the House of Representatives in March. The House version would limit restraint and seclusion to situations where there is imminent danger and prohibit the practices from being included in students’ IEPs. (Read all of Disability Scoop’s coverage of restraint and seclusion >>)

 

Read in Full: 

http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/11/02/advocates-split-restraint/11004/



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