Committee Also Passes Senator Hassan’s Bill to Expand Access to Assistive Technology
WASHINGTON – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted to pass U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan bill to address rising youth suicide rates, which she introduced with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) earlier this year. The Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act encourages states, public schools, and Tribes to implement evidence-based policies and trainings to prevent suicides by prioritizing grantees with these policies to receive certain types of grants, including ones to promote youth mental health awareness among schools and communities and improve connections to services for school-age youth.
“I’ve heard directly from New Hampshire students about the significant challenges that they have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and their need for additional mental health support,” said Senator Hassan. “That’s why my bill with Senator Ernst to expand access to youth prevention programs in schools is so timely. I am pleased that this bipartisan legislation is moving through the Senate, and I will continue to work with my colleagues so that we can pass this bill into law.”
Earlier this year, Senator Hassan met with students, teachers, and administrators from Epping School District, and during a recent Committee hearing, Senator Hassan shared their stories and highlighted their need for additional mental health supports.
In addition, the Committee also passed a bipartisan bill that Senator Hassan cosponsored to expand access to affordable assistive technology for seniors and individuals who experience disabilities, which includes items such as hearing aids, wheelchair ramps, or devices to help individuals who are non-verbal to communicate. The bipartisan 21st Century Assistive Technology Act would update the Assistive Technology Act by clarifying that the program serves all people with disabilities, including veterans and older adults who developed disabilities later in life. This bill would also increase the funding authorized for programs that serve rural areas.
“As a mother of a son who experiences disabilities, I have seen firsthand how important assistive technology is in day-to-day life,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has passed this bipartisan bill to expand access to assistive technology, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that individuals who experience disabilities receive the support that they need.”