While Missouri Disability Empowerment did not officially become an organization until June 2018, parents began working on the Therapy For All bill in 2016. They communicated through the FB page Missouri Disability Empowerment. In 2022, MoDE Foundation took over the legislative work of MoDE.
MoDE led the advocacy push to get three pieces of legislation passed, as well as other policies changed. MoDE continues to build relationships in Jefferson City as it represents individuals with disabilities and their families.
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 MoDE got this legislation passed and how you can make sure your insurance covers therapies.
Recording IEPs and 504 Plan Meetings
Until recently, Missouri school districts prohibited audio recordings of any meetings, but specifically IEP/504 plan meetings. In May 2021, Missouri legislators passed HB432 which prohibits schools from banning parents and guardians from recording IEP meetings. The governor signed it into law on July 14, 2021.
Missouri had one of the weakest laws in the country regarding seclusion, isolation, and restraint in schools. In May 2021, Missouri legislators passed HB432 which places limits and guidelines on seclusion and restraint in schools. It also requires parental and DESE notification. The governor signed it into law on July 14, 2021.
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.