- Filed (End of Session)
Res. No. 174
Resolution calling upon the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to include the use of GPS tracking devices as a covered service available under the People First Waiver.
By Council Members Cohen, Gibson, Cumbo, Chin, Rose. Gentile, Cornegy, Vallone, Deutsch and Crowley
Whereas, In January 2014, the search for Avonte Oquendo, a 14 year-old autistic teenager who went missing from his school in Queens three months earlier, ended tragically with the recovery of his remains; and
Whereas, As a result of his autism, Avonte Oquendo was non-verbal teenager who had tendency to wander from safe environments; and
Whereas, Autism is one of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders, known as autism spectrum disorders, that are characterized by social impairments, difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors; and
Whereas, According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 88 American children have an autism spectrum disorder; and
Whereas, Nearly half of children with an autism spectrum disorder attempt to wander or bolt from supervised areas, and more than half of those that wander go missing; and
Whereas, Wearable devices that utilize global positioning systems (GPS) can track children with autism and ensure they are quickly located if they go missing; and
Whereas, New York State, in collaboration with the federal government, offers Medicaid waivers to children with disabilities so that they can receive certain services that help them stay with their families and in their community; and
Whereas, Some Medicaid waivers provide for the coverage of assistive technology, a category of services that allow an individual to use adaptive devices to help maintain or increase their ability to remain with and be a part of the community; and
Whereas, The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disability is currently developing a new waiver, called the People First Waiver, that will serve individuals with developmental disabilities, such as autism; and
Whereas, Making GPS tracking devices available through the People First Waiver would provide comfort to parents of autistic children and help ensure the safe return of autistic children that may go missing; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to include the use of GPS tracking devices as a covered service available under the People First Waiver.