WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, issued a statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s final rule to ban the use of electrical stimulation devices on children and adults who experience disabilities. The announcement comes following a February 10 request from Senators Hassan, Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and other colleagues urging the Food and Drug Administration to finalize the rule. The rule was first proposed in 2016, but years of delays and missed deadlines allowed for electrical stimulation devices — which attach to the skin and allow another person to administer electric shocks — to continue being used as a form of punishment and behavioral control.
“It is long past time that the Food and Drug Administration ban this alarming and barbaric practice, and I am glad it heeded our calls to finalize this rule,” said Senator Hassan. “I will continue working to ensure that individuals with disabilities are treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve, and that they have the support that they need to thrive.”
Senator Hassan is working to ensure that individuals who experience disabilities receive the support that they need to be fully included in their communities. Senator Hassan recently introduced bipartisan legislation to address the critical need for more Direct Support Professionals in the workforce, who provide vital support to individuals who experience disabilities. The senator also joined in introducing the RISE Act that would remove burdensome and unnecessary barriers for students who experience disabilities during their transition from K-12 to higher education, and she has cosponsored legislation to better protect students with disabilities – who face higher rates of sexual assault – from sexual violence on college campuses. Additionally, as Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan signed legislation banning employers from paying workers with disabilities at a lower rate than the minimum wage, making New Hampshire the first state in the nation to ban sub-minimum wages.