New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill to ensure that students with disabilities have the opportunity to take part in their high school graduation ceremonies. The bill is named for a resident in the Hudson Valley.
Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis authored Zachary’s law, which requires school districts to establish a policy for students with disabilities to participate in graduation so long as they’ve earned a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential or an Occupational Studies Commencement Credential.
“They should be allowed to walk and participate with the friends and peers that they’ve spent the last 12 years in school with, not walk across a stage with strangers a number of years later,” Skoufis says.
Zachary’s Law is named for Orange County resident Zachary Lerman, whose parents had approached Skoufis with the matter. Republican Bill Larkin sponsored the bill in the Senate.