In 2021, to pass legislation that would require school districts to consistently implement working with families on transitional planning for youth at age 14 who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. Before this law, Nebraska required the age to be set at 16, which many families believed was far too late as they prepared for next steps after high school.
This bill built on previous success in 2015 when we worked to pass Achieving a Better Life Experience legislation (ABLE Act) that allowed families to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts, for disability-related expenses similar to college education savings plans. And passage in 2014 of legislation requiring insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders, including a specific therapy that had proven success.
Autism Speaks advocates Vicki Depenbusch and Cathy Martinez present awards to Speaker Hilgers, Commissioner Blomstedt and Senator Walz on September 16, 2021.