Two City Council committees held a joint hearing April 25 on a package of four bills designed to assist and better protect people with autism, especially children, in the wake of the recent death of Queens teenager Avonte Oquendo.
Lawmakers and supporters also held a press conference outside City Hall to promote the measures. They would extend the Silver Alert notification system to people with developmental disabilities regardless of age; create a volunteer registry for individuals, such as Avonte, who are prone to running off; expand the voluntary use of GPS tracking devices; and ask the federal government for more autism-related funds.
Promoting the measure here is Councilman Robert Cornegy, joined by fellow lawmakers Ruben Wills, left, the author of the bills, and Vanessa Gibson, Kim Mack Rosenberg of the National Autism Association’s New York chapter, and Vanessa Fontaine, Avonte’s mother.
Among the other speakers were Queens lawmakers at all levels, including Councilman Paul Vallone, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Rep. Greg Meeks.