Rockville, MD, July 11, 2024 – The Autism Society of America is thrilled to announce and commend the removal of Section 722 from the Agriculture/FDA funding bill in a manager’s amendment. This critical decision marks a significant victory for the rights and dignity of individuals with disabilities across our nation. 

Section 722 would have permitted the Judge Rotenberg Center to continue utilizing electric shocks as a form of behavioral treatment on people with disabilities. This practice has been widely condemned by advocacy groups, medical professionals, and international human rights organizations, including the United Nations, which has classified it as a form of torture. 

Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America, stated, “The removal of this provision is a monumental step forward in ensuring that all individuals with disabilities are treated with the respect and humanity they deserve. The use of electric shocks is an outdated and inhumane practice that has no place in modern behavioral treatment. We are overjoyed that the Appropriations Committee has taken this decisive action to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.” 

The Autism Society of America has long advocated for the use of evidence-based, compassionate, and humane treatment methods for individuals with disabilities. Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) have been proven to be effective in promoting positive behavior change and improving the quality of life without inflicting pain or suffering. 

Banks continued, “This decision sends a powerful message that the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities cannot be compromised. We are grateful to the lawmakers who listened to our concerns and took a stand against this harmful practice. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure that all individuals with disabilities receive the care and support they need in a manner that respects their dignity and humanity.” 

The Autism Society of America extends its heartfelt thanks to all the advocates, families, and organizations who tirelessly campaigned for the removal of Section 722 in the Agriculture/FDA funding bill. This achievement is a testament to the power of collective action and the unwavering commitment to justice and human rights.