Seizure Safe Schools Legislation Now Passed in 16 States
Bowie, Md., May 4, 2022 — Epilepsy Foundation announced today that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1654 into law on April 29, thereby bringing Seizure Safe Schools legislation to 16 states in the country. The Epilepsy Foundation is grateful to all the advocates, families, and bill sponsors who paved the way for the bill throughout the legislative process and helped tremendously to get it across the finish line. This victory follows three other states, including neighboring Utah, which recently passed similar bills during the 2022 state legislative session.
“I am proud to have sponsored this bill which will help 11,200 children living with epilepsy in Arizona be safer in schools,” said Senator Sine Kerr (District 13), the bill’s chief sponsor. “Beginning in the next school year, SB 1654 allows parents or guardians of a student with a seizure disorder to submit a seizure management and treatment plan to a school district or charter school and ensure the plan is made available to school personnel responsible for the supervision of the student.”
The legislation, which was co-sponsored by Representative Tim Dunn, also requires school personnel, who have regular contact with a student with a submitted plan, to complete an online training on seizure recognition and first aid every five years. The bill ensures at least one school employee other than a school nurse is trained to administer FDA-approved anti-seizure or seizure rescue medications and manual doses of prescribed electrical stimulation using a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) magnet. Lastly, the bill includes a Good Samaritan clause for those who act in good faith in accordance with the bill’s provisions.
“After three years of championing this bill, I am beyond excited that this legislation has become law,” said Brandon Berry, Arizona advocate. “I have had seizures in public places and people did not know what to do or how to help. I was inspired by stories of people who have achieved seizure control like Georgia Ford. Now, students and families in Arizona will no longer need to worry or feel alone. I hope this bill will spread awareness and bring hope to many people living with epilepsy.”
The Epilepsy Foundation continues to work with its network of staff, grassroots advocates, and nearly 40 organizational partners to pass this bill in the remaining 34 states and Washington, D.C. To learn more about each state’s legislative efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about free seizure first aid trainings, visit epilepsy.com/FirstAid.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. Epilepsy is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. The Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding epilepsy research and supporting epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. In partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 600,000 people in seizure recognition and first aid. The Epilepsy Foundation continues to focus on serving the epilepsy community through advocacy, education, direct services and research for new therapies. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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