Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act
Statement from Beginnings SC:
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act has been reintroduced in Congress. Beginnings SC supports this legislation because the statistics for deaf and hard of hearing children alone are staggering. We know there are 9,232 children who are deaf or hard of hearing in SC and are either not identified and/or not being adequately served. Children who are deaf and hard of hearing are not truly disabled until they don’t have access. Children learn language by being around lots of accessible language. The first step to preventing a disability is early identification. The second step to preventing a disability is providing appropriate access to language and interventions.
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act would improve services and educational opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind. The legislation will also:
- enhance reporting and evaluation measures for special education in each state
- increase training for teachers and other special education professionals
- reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students
Join the nation-wide call for advocacy to get this bill passed and begin leveling the playing field for deaf and hard of hearing students, blind students, and deafblind students. The time is now. More information here: https://cogswellmacyact.org/ways-to-get-involved/
Call Your Senator or Representative to Support the Cogswell-Macy Act: H.R. 1959, S. 813
How to Make the Call in Four Simple Steps
- Be sure you know who are your 2 senators and one representative by following the links below:
Senators: Look for your Senators by state at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Representatives: Look for your Representative by zip code at http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep
- Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to your Senator or Representative
- Identify yourself and let them know that you are a constituent.
- Ask your member of Congress, or their staff, to support the Cogswell-Macy Act, and ask for their position on this legislation. If you know that your member of Congress is already a sponsor, please thank them for their support!
Here are two suggested scripts, but feel free to improvise!
If you are calling a Representative’s office, you can say: “Hello. My name is ________ and I’m a resident of _________ (city), __________ (state). I’m calling to ask Representative _________ (name of Representative) to co-sponsor the Cogswell-Macy Act – H.R. 1959. I support this bill because it will improve access to important and necessary education and services for children who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblind. I am hoping I can count on Representative _________’s support. Please let me know (his or her) position on this bill.”
If you are calling a Senator’s office, you can say: “Hello. My name is ________ and I’m a resident of _________ (city), __________ (state). I’m calling to ask Senator _________ (name of Senator) to cosponsor the Cogswell-Macy Act, bipartisan legislation which was introduced in the Senate as S. 813. I support this bill because it will improve access to important and necessary education and services for children who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblind. I am hoping I can count on Senator _________’s support. Please let me know (his or her) position on this bill.”
If you’re leaving a message on an answering machine, provide your phone number or email address so that the office can get back to you.
Don’t be disappointed if you only talk to a receptionist or if you get your legislator’s voicemail; the fact that you are their constituent and are taking the time to bring the Cogswell-Macy Act to their attention is what it’s all about. If you like, you can ask to speak to the staffer in the office who works on special education issues.