New York Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has proposed a bill that would make it mandatory for day care centers and schools in the state to have a specialized evacuation plan in the event of an emergency or lockdown, to cater to the needs of children with disabilities. The proposed legislation is aimed at ensuring that children who may need extra support during a dangerous situation are able to escape safely.
As mass shootings and other violent crimes continue to take place across the country, preparedness has become a top priority. Santabarbara, who is the father of a son with autism, hopes the bill will provide peace of mind to parents of children with disabilities.
“Having a plan for those with special needs during building lockdowns and other emergencies is a commonsense step that could save lives,” said Santabarbara. “I encourage my colleagues to pass this legislation to ensure emergency preparedness is inclusive at our schools and daycare facilities.”
The bill requires schools and day cares to develop the emergency plans in collaboration with law enforcement, fire safety personnel, staff, and parents of children with disabilities. The plans must be easily accessible and a copy must be present inside the building.
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