Graduation is a moment that many parents look forward to sharing with their kids.
"That was one of the best days of my life," said Steven Lerman, Zachary Lerman's father. "The day he was born, the day I got married, his graduation were ranked as three of the greatest days that I've had in my life. He was beaming with pride."
Washingtonville High School graduate Zachary Lerman has autism, and because of policies in place, almost didn't get the chance to walk with his class at graduation.
Now a new law ensures that every family can experience the joy of graduation like Zachary and his family.
"The prospect of not being able to walk across that stage is crushing to that child and to their parents," said Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury).
Skoufis authored the bill that requires districts to allow students with disabilities who have received a commencement certificate the chance to walk with their classmates during the ceremony.
Previously, those students would have had to wait until they were ready to leave school and attend a ceremony, sometimes years later than those they've grown up with. The bill was named in Zachary's honor when the Lermans brought the issue to Skoufis earlier this year.
"It makes me feel proud in my heart that we're making a difference one child at a time," said parent-advocate Stacey Orzell, "to build a stronger community where opportunities can be equal for children with developmental disabilities."