HB 0063 Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

HB 0063 - Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

Students with Disabilities as well as all students in public schools should receive consistent care at the hands of educators. HB 0063 Was filed to protect the students from mistreatment by staff such as seclusion and restraints as punishment for behaviors. The misuse of seclusion and restraints has led to injury and even death. This Bill seeks to correct this lapse in care for the State's children. 


Florida HB 0063, Co-sponsored by Florida Representative Katie A. Edwards, proposes new legislation to protect Students with Disabilities in Public Schools. This Bill revises School District policies and procedures requiring the continued education and training related to Students with Disabilities. Providing requirements for the use of seclusion, restraint and exclusionary and non-exclusionary time.  The bill passed the House Education Committee unanimously, garnishing support and helpful feedback from many of the legislators. 


Specific Points of the Bill Include:

  • Defines terms...
Teen Hand-cyclist makes the 2,365 mile Journey from Maine to Florida!

Hudson Teen, Owen Anketell, has completed a 2,365 mile journey from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida solely by hand-cycle! He was able to finish the 2,365 mile trek on Sunday August 20 on the same day he turned 17.

Anketell was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia. This means that his leg muscles aren’t strong enough for him to walk, so he must use a wheelchair to move around. Wonderfully, it doesn’t hinder his athleticism. He started skiing at the age of 3 with a specially designed ski and hasn’t looked back.  Through assistive devices, he can stay active and fulfill his dreams.

The trip took years to plan and he raised close to $50,000 for hotels and meals for the trip. Anketell biked alongside his best friend Matt Farrell and cousin Bryce Coffey. They cycled on three weekends between Memorial Day and the end of the school year, traveling home and returning to the spot where they left off. On June 26, they began the full-time trek and haven’t been home since.

The trio traveled an average of 50 miles a day, and in Florida, they traveled 82.5 miles in one day!


August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month!

About SMA

SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) is a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants.



SMA is caused by a mutation in the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). In a healthy person, this gene produces a protein that is critical to the function of the nerves that control our muscles. Without it, those nerve cells cannot properly function and eventually die, leading to debilitating and often fatal muscle weakness. 

SMA affects approximately 1 in 11,000 babies, and about 1 in every 50 Americans is a genetic carrier. SMA can affect any race or gender.

There are four primary types of SMA—I, II, III, and IV—based on age of onset and highest physical milestone achieved.

Individuals with SMA have difficulty performing the basic functions of life, like breathing and swallowing. However, SMA does not affect a person’s ability to think, learn, and build relationships with others....


A Virtual 5K Race to Benefit Children with Special Needs

As stated by Ms. Karen M. Clay, “Play is such an Important part of the developmental process, and we feel it is aligned with the mission of FAAST to help families that do not have the resources to purchase expensive adapted toys.”

The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology is Excited to announce the 2017 FAAST 5K! This 5K is a fundraising effort to benefit children with special needs across Florida. The Mission of FAAST is to improve the quality of life of all Floridians with disabilities through access to assistive services and devices. The Money Raised will be used to purchase these toys to be distributed to children receiving services from one of the six Regional Distribution Centers.

Adapted toys are specially manufactured products designed to meet the unique requirements of children with disabilities.  These toys can be expensive for parents who already have a huge load to bear with all of the other requirements their children need.

This 5K is a “Walk, Run, or Roll” Virtual Race that will take...

Assistive Technology in the Classroom

School is starting around the country, and students are being introduced into a brand new environment. This can be scary for most, but especially so when that student has a disability. They are exposed to new sights, sounds, and heaps of new stimuli. Teachers are thrown into the mix without the knowledge or tools to assist these new students. There are resources available to help, but here is a short list that may give you some ideas in the classroom.

First of all, 

What is Assistive Technology?

AT is any item that is used to improve, maintain or otherwise assist the functional capacity of a person with a disability. Assistive Technology can be anything from pencil grips to iPads and so many things in between. 

AT can be broken down into three categories...

Low Tech

  • Highlighters
  • Magnifiers
  • Pencil Grips
  • Colored or Raised Paper
  • Velcro to hold items in place
  • Walkers
  • Grabbers
  • Your Imagination is the limit

Middle Tech

  • Timers
  • Spell Checkers
  • Adapted Keyboard or Mice
  • Wheelchairs
  • So much more

High Tech

  • Computers with...