I am writing to you on behalf of my son, Luke Forrest Humphrey, who died August 17, 2009 in Glen Rose Nursing Home. Because of the deadly sexually transmitted diseases he contracted while in this facility he was isolated from those who loved him and who wanted to visit him. He was physically restrained with harnesses to his shoulders and head preventing freedom of movement. His wheelchair was so high off the ground that he was unable to place his feet on the floor. In video's taken in the spring of 2006 Luke was able to push his wheelchair backwards with his feet. His prescription for a cardiac wheelchair was ignored. Had this child been given the proper rehab that his neurologist specified in his medical records which was three hours a day three times a week, my son would be alive today. This facility lacked the education, and the training to care for a Traumatic Brain Injured Individual. Without the proper training, Luke was seen as a vegetable rather than a human being. Therapy was fifteen minutes three times a week with Tom, who was neither certified nor trained in this area. Thousands of disabled individuals are affected daily throughout Texas concerning the care and treatment of disabled individuals such as Luke. I will continue my fight to help change laws concerning incapacitated individuals who are unable to fight for themselves. To change laws concerning guardians becoming "owners" of their ward. Being a parent is not a right, it is a gift.
On behalf of APRAIS (the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion), TASH encourages you to contact your congressional representatives during our National Call-In Day on February 26, 2010 and tell them to support the FEDERAL BILL - Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (H.R. 4247, S. 2860).
Recently, the House Committee on Education and Labor voted H.R. 4247 out of committee with a vote of 35 to 10. Your hard work has certainly made a difference, but we need your continued efforts to advance this important legislation. Specifically, we need your assistance to get the bill moved to the floor for a full House vote and to obtain Co-sponsors for the Senate version, S. 2860.
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced the Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act in the Senate, but we need to increase the number of Senate Co-Sponsors and get this bill out of committee as soon as possible. Once passed, this legislation will provide students with and without disabilities vital protections against abuse in schools.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Ask your Congressional Representative to Co-sponsor H.R. 4247 and your Senators to Co-Sponsor S. 2860 on Friday, February 26th!!
To find out the names of your US Senators and Representative, click here [link to www.congress. org]
Dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the offices of your US Senators and Representative
Ask to speak to the person working on education issues
Identify yourself as a constituent and the organization that you represent (if any)
Please also encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to participate in this important National Call-In!
Message: "I am calling to urge [your Senator] to cosponsor S.2860, legislation preventing harmful use of restraint and seclusion in schools."
Message: "I am calling to urge [your Representative] to cosponsor H.R. 4247, legislation preventing harmful use of restraint and seclusion in schools."
Thank you for your advocacy. Your action will help increase congressional support for these bills and move them through the legislative process toward enactment. Please join the National Call-In Day on Friday, February 26, 2010, and tell your friends and family to join!
Please visit http://aprais. tash.org/ to learn more!
The APRAIS Coalition
Mother of Luke Forrest Humphrey