Blog #168~ New Disability Identification Card
This morning, I attended an event presented by Illinois State Representative, Stephanie Kifowit at the Aurora Police Department. Last year, she sponsored legislation to create a disability awareness card. Many individuals in our community live with special needs. Often, their conditions can sometimes make it difficult to communicate in stressful situations. This new disability wallet card was unveiled to foster better communication for individuals who struggle during these times.
State Representative Stephanie Kifowit….
This initiative was the idea of School Board President Lori Price, who is a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Persons with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities may shut down, get nervous, panic or display inappropriate behaviors during high stress situations. The disability awareness card is a tool, to help individuals quickly identify themselves to first responders and other public figures. An individual can quickly show this wallet card, which will help to prevent a situation from escalating.
Face it, we all get nervous when being pulled over by a police officer. Imagine what it must feel like for a person medically diagnosed with an intellectual, developmental or mental disability. This wallet card is different from the state ID card, as it contains the following…..
On this card, these conditions may present a person who:
*Appears deaf or unable to understand
*Has difficulty speaking or communicating
*Engages in repetitive or self-stimulating behaviors such as rocking or hand flapping.
*Becomes agitated due to physical contact or stressful situations
*Acts indifferent or unresponsive
These conditions are stated on the card along with this statement:
“Please do not interpret my behavior as refusal to cooperate. To better communicate with me, it can be helpful to speak slowly and clearly, repeat questions and allow time for responses.”
“If those techniques are unsuccessful, I request that you contact the person noted below on my behalf as he/she will confirm my diagnosis and provide information you may need about my identity or condition.”
These cards are free to individuals who have been approved by the Secretary of State’s office for an Illinois Person with a Disability ID card.
For an application click here @https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com
I applaud State Representative Stephanie Kifowit for taking Lori Price’s idea for this simple card, that will improve communication and help de-escalate high stress situations. This will assist law enforcement and first responders in keeping our loved ones safe. Readers , please let me know if an identification card like this has been implemented, where you live. If not, perhaps it’s time to champion this effort!
That’s what is in my noggin this week. 🙂
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