Special Education

President Signs Disability Diagnosis Bill

By Christina A. Samuels — October 09, 2008 1 min read
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From Patricia E. Bauer’s Disability News blog, this news:

On Wednesday, October 8, 2008, the President signed into law: … S. 1810, the “Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act,” which authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program to collect and disseminate information regarding Down syndrome or other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed diseases and to coordinate the provision of support services for those who receive a diagnosis of one of those diseases.

Bauer, a journalist who has a daughter with Down syndrome, has written that the bill forged an unlikely alliance between abortion rights advocates and opponents of abortion, who both agreed that parents who have been told that their child will have a disability need access to scientifically sound information. Families will be referred to support organizations and information clearinghouses.

The Down syndrome advocacy community has been particularly active in this issue because tests for Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality, were among the first prenatal tests to be developed. Now, about 1,000 prenatal tests exist or are in development, Bauer writes.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican Congresswoman from Washington state who has a toddler son with Down syndrome, was a supporter of the bill. She is also the founder of the bipartisan Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus, and she talks a little bit about the work of that group in this video, joined by her highly adorable son Cole. He almost steals the show:

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.