Governor unveils new communication card: Helps hard-of-hearing individuals communicate with law enforcement

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 11:33 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – The process to create a communication card to benefit both deaf individuals and law enforcement started back before the pandemic, according to Northwest Ohio Deaf Services.

“I remember they said that there have been other cards for years, but nothing however that was for this kind of official standard, a statewide process that would influence every officer,” said Shannon Segar, Deaf Services Director.

The card displays icons of common violations and requests that deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals can point to. To help them more easily interact with agencies.

“Our state has really been trying to push for more effective access,” Segar said.

Use for the card doesn’t stop there, as Seger adds it can also be used for people with communication disabilities, for example, individuals with autism.

“Its got pictures, its got various utilizations. You can show what it is and it can really just help it’s a very nice tool,” said Segar.

The card also provides tips for law enforcement making it just another tool in the toolbox for officers.

Ohio State Patrolman Sergeant Ryan Purpurra believes this new card can help bridge the communication gap and create more of an understanding.

“In the past, I’ve had it where I had to write notes back and forth, and you can hear on the side of the freeway, it’s loud, cars going by, and everybody gets maybe a little bit nervous being pulled over or broke down or whatever it is so it will just make things a little smoother,” said Purpurra.

Stuart James, Director of the Ability Center here in Toledo believes the idea still leaves a lot of gray areas.

If you are interested, you can print or download the card here.

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