MoDE lobbies at the state level of government, advocating for legislation which improves the lives of individuals with disabilities. MoDE had a big win in May 2019 with the passage of the Therapy For All Children autism mandate expansion. We are leading or supporting efforts to get other legislation passed, as well as some statewide policies changed. While these are our priorities, we are testifying on behalf of and supporting other disability work being done throughout the state.
SB514 was signed into law on July 11, 2019. It requires insurance to cover therapies for children with developmental disabilities. This is a big win for Missouri's children. Learn more about how we got this legislation passed and how you can make sure your insurance covers therapies.
All 50 states have autism mandates. Missouri is only the 3rd state to extend this coverage to children with other disabilities. There are people from across the country who have heard about this new law and want to get the same type of legislation passed in their states. We want to support other parents, providers, and advocates as they fight to make sure that their state's law related to insurance coverage for therapies is inclusive of all disabilities.
Currently, Missouri school districts prohibit audio recordings of any meetings, but specifically IEP/504 meetings. We would like to see this changed to allow parents and schools to record these meetings. A policy change would also better reflect Missouri's one-party recording law.
Missouri has one of the weakest laws in the country regarding seclusion, isolation, and restraint in schools. While we want to see local district policies strengthened, we believe that a law that sets provisions related to seclusion, isolation, and restraint is necessary. A state statute would have to be obeyed as it would have the full force of law.
Missouri's Speech Implementer Model
Missouri is the only state with a Speech Implementer Model. Even though Speech Implementers may have no formal training related to speech and language, they are allowed to do speech and language therapies in MO schools. Thanks to the help of Rep. Wood, DESE is phasing out the SI Model and speech implementers will not longer be allowed to provide services at the start of the 2022-23 school year.