Join the Cogswell-Macy Act National Action Day on November 15th!

On November 7, Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia introduced the Senate version of the Cogswell-Macy Act. In celebration of this step forward, CEASD and other organizations serving and representing children who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, or deafblind are organizing an action day to attract more support for the Cogswell-Macy Act in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Join us in asking your Members of Congress to support the Cogswell-Macy Act and in thanking those members who have already signed on.

The Cogswell-Macy Act is the most comprehensive special education legislation for students with sensory disabilities to date. This act seeks to expand the resources available to these students, and their parents and educators, through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Call on Your Senators and Representatives to Support the Cogswell-Macy Act

Find your senators’ and representative’s contact information at this site by entering your address. You will see your members’ Twitter address, web site link, and phone number. You can contact them through any or all of these.

Make sure to identify yourself and let staff know that you are a constituent.  Ask your member of Congress, or their staff, to support the Cogswell-Macy Act, and ask for their position on this legislation.  

If you are calling here are two suggested scripts. (Note: if you are calling through VRS we suggest taking a moment to explain the purpose of the call to the interpreter.)

If you are calling a Representative’s office, you can say: “Hello. My name is ________ and I’m a resident of _________ (city), __________ (state). I’m calling to ask Representative _________ (name of Representative) to co-sponsor the Cogswell-Macy Act – H.R. 1120. I support this bill because it will improve access to important and necessary education and services for children who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblind. I am hoping I can count on Representative _________’s support. Please let me know (his or her) position on this bill.”

If you are calling a Senator’s office, you can say: “Hello. My name is ________ and I’m a resident of _________ (city), __________ (state). I’m calling to ask Senator _________ (name of Senator) to cosponsor the Cogswell-Macy Act, bipartisan legislation which was introduced in the Senate as S. 2087. I support this bill because it will improve access to important and necessary education and services for children who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, or deafblind. I am hoping I can count on Senator _________’s support. Please let me know (his or her) position on this bill.”

If you’re leaving a message on an answering machine, provide your phone number or email address so that the office can get back to you.

Don’t be disappointed if you only talk to a receptionist or if you get your legislator’s voicemail; the fact that you are their constituent and are taking the time to bring the Cogswell-Macy Act to their attention is what it’s all about. If you like, you can ask to speak to the staffer in the office who works on special education issues. Once you’ve made your calls, we’d love to hear how it went, so please drop us a note on our Facebook page. Thank you for your advocacy for children who are deaf, blind, or deafblind!

More Details

If you’re asked for more information (or if you want to provide more details), you can mention that the Cogswell-Macy Act will:

Ensure specialized instruction specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, deafblind, or visually impaired.

Increase the availability of services and resources by ensuring all students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deafblind are accounted for.

Enhance accountability at the state and federal levels.

When you make your calls, you are welcome to direct any questions you may get about the Cogswell-Macy Act to Barbara Raimondo, ceasd@ceasd.org.

But don’t stop there . . .

Tweet Your Support

Let’s spread our support across the Twitter-verse! Most Congress members are now on Twitter and actively monitor feedback sent their way. Plus, by including the hashtag #CogswellMacyAct, you and all the other Cogswell-Macy Act supporters can track the “Twitter storm” of support!

Find congressional Twitter handles.

From your Twitter account (mobile or web), send a tweet beginning with the Twitter handle (remember to include the “@” sign before the Twitter handle) and including the URL www.CogswellMacyAct.org and the hashtag #CogswellMacyAct You can also add the hashtags #DeafChildren #Deaf #Blind #DeafEd #SignLanguage #DeafEd #DeafEducation. What other hashtags can you think of?

From Twitter, search/follow #CogswellMacyAct to see who else is tweeting their support.

Retweet!

Sample Tweets (Feel Free to Write Your Own!)

Insert the Twitter handle for your own Representative and the abbreviation for your own state in place of the example provided here:

(State) #deafstudents want @MyCongressman to sponsor #CogswellMacyAct. All students deserve truly appropriate education! CogswellMacyAct.org

#deafstudents need solid language and communication support #CogswellMacyAct @MyCongressman

Get creative! Tweet photos of yourself with a sign supporting the Cogswell-Macy Act!

Spread the Word on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube

Post your support on FacebookPinterest, or Google+ with a link to www.cogswellmacyact.org. You can use the hashtag #CogswellMacyAct on Facebook as well as Twitter to post about the Cogswell-Macy Act and track friends’ Cogswell-Macy Act posts.

Cogswell-Macy Act on Facebook

Also like or follow www.facebook.com/CogswellMacyAct for more posts to share about the Cogswell-Macy Act.

Thanks!

Thanks for your support of this event and for all you do for deaf and hard of hearing children and their families!