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GAO Report and Congressional Hearing on Restraints and Seclusion

Posted May 20 2009 9:29am

The GAO has issued a sixty-two page report concerning the allegations of abusive use of restraints and seclusion. You can read the whole report
here. There is also a one page summary availablehere. The widespread nature of the abuse of these techniques and the high incidence of injury and death of children with disabilities is very, very disturbing! This is a tough report to read, but the topic is obviously important.

The U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor held a hearing on the issue today. Here is the Committee'sreporton the issue. Representative Miller, the Chairman of the committee, referred to the testimony at the hearing and the GAO report as "very sad, very tragic," and he suggested that legislation might be needed to correct the widespread problem. Here is anews account. Here is atelevision newsaccount.

I have heard from some educators that restraints are necessary sometimes to protect children with disabilities or other people, but most argue that such techniques should be used only as a last resort. I believe that training concerning these techniques and at least some limitations upon the more deadly methods will now be mandated by federal law. How do you folks feel about this topic?

------- Thanks for subscribing! Jim Gerl
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