Deafblind people, The Cogswell-Macy Act (CMA)
The Cogswell-Macy Act (CMA), if passed, would strengthen IDEA significantly for students who are visually impaired and deafblind. From an O&M perspective, it not only encourages states to more comprehensively count students accurately, it provides a framework for all states to engage in specific planning for serving students. The Act mentions O&M specifically in Section II. Specifically there is discussion about having sufficient personnel and having high quality evaluations for all students. Many O&M Specialists support the CMA as a way to generate support and awareness of the specific needs of students who are blind, visually impaired and deafblind. This is the most comprehensive educational legislation written for students with sensory disabilities. Recent blogs acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on students with sensory disabilities as well. Dr. Sandra Lewis stated in a recent article that support for the CMA is one of the most important collective actions that we can take as practitioners.
Parker, A.T. (2021, September 13, 2021) The Cogswell-Macy Act: Orientation and Mobility Specialist Association. Virtual Presentation for the Orientation and Mobility Specialist Association.