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U.S. Senate unanimously passes Avonte’s Law to prevent wandering from special needs individuals

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate has unanimously approved to pass a bipartisan bill known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which aims to help those with autism or other conditions that may wander away from their caregivers.

Named in honor of  Avonte Oquendo and Kevin Willis, two boys who perished after wandering, the bill would allocate funding to the appropriate agencies for more training programs and autism education. If approved, the law also provides access to resources for individuals who’ve become separated from their caregivers. Additionally, local tracking technology will made available if the individual has gone missing.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who originally proposed the bill, tweeted out the news.

In Oct. 2013,  Oquendo disappeared after leaving his Queens school, setting off a massive city-wide search. He was found dead months later in the East River. Willis drowned in Racoon River in Iowa in 2008.

The bill awaits vote from the House of Representatives and a signature from President Obama before it becomes a law.