Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB 848 into law, which renames Act 833 of 2014 as the April Dunn Act. April was a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and a dedicated staff member who served in the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs. She succumbed to complications from COVID-19 on March 28, 2020.
The Louisiana Legislature passed Act 833 in 2014 to provide a pathway to promotion and graduation for certain students with disabilities. After its passage, Louisiana joined many states in recognizing the role a student's Individualized Education Program has in determining outcomes.
With Gov. Edwards' signature, the April Dunn Act became Act 1 of 2020.
"Although April was not able to earn a high school diploma, that did not stop her from learning and helping others. Because of April, countless students with disabilities in Louisiana now have a pathway to earn a high school diploma," Gov. Edwards said. "She was a tremendous asset to our team and to the state of Louisiana. Her enthusiasm and passion for life made a difference in everyone she came in contact with, and her work improved the lives of all Louisianans, including those with disabilities. The April Dunn Act further cements her legacy as a tireless advocate, and I am honored to name Act 1 of 2020 after her. We mourn April's loss every day, but her infectious smile and advocacy live on forever in our hearts and minds. I ask everyone to please continue to keep April's family, friends and colleagues in their prayers."
Working with a bipartisan coalition of legislators, advocates and stakeholders, April put a face to the issue that Act 833 addressed. She testified in support of the legislation and led the bill as it passed the legislature and became law.
Click here to see Gov. Edwards signing the April Dunn Act into law.
Click here for the April Dunn Memorial Page.