Pfaff applauds passage of bill expanding opportunities for students with disabilities

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INDIANAPOLIS – Today State Rep. Tonya Pfaff's (D-Terre Haute) co-authored House Bill 1313 was unanimously sent to the governor's desk after the House voted to concur with technical amendments made by the Senate.

The bill implements a plan from the State Advisory Council in response to House Enrolled Act 1341, which was authored by Pfaff and signed into law in 2020. The plan will assign the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to inform former students who received a non-diploma certificate of recognition and certain students with an individualized education program (IEP) who withdrew from school of potential training or education opportunities. They will then submit an annual report on the education of children with disabilities.

The bill will also require the State Board of Education to adopt rules for providing an alternate diploma for students with significant cognitive disabilities by December of this year.

“A year ago, we began this mission to empower students who have received an alternate diploma in the past,” Pfaff said. “I want to thank everyone who joined with us along the way to help put this plan into action.

“Looking back from where we stand today to where we stood at the end of the 2020 session, the world is a different place in ways we never could have predicted. As our economy begins to recover from the pandemic, we have to make sure that no one is left behind.

“In the past, too many students with disabilities have been overlooked and allowed to fall through the cracks of the system. This bill will ease their transition into the workforce and continually act to remove barriers to employment. This is not just a recovery, this is about rebuilding a better economy that works for all Hoosiers.”

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