Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) hosted the first planning meeting for the new Communication Disability Law on May 24. Joined by partners from the Ohio Departments of Public Safety and Developmental Disabilities, law enforcement and the advocacy community, the group began mapping outreach strategies and creating a training plan.
Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 115 into law on May 2. This new law will help improve the interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with a communication disability. Anyone with a diagnosed communication disability can voluntarily enroll in a database that connects to the LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System). An officer can then be made aware that the driver, or a person in the vehicle, may have difficulty with communication.
As the lead agency in this initiative, OOD will continue to coordinate with the group over the coming months. Once the program is implemented, OOD will provide a form on the agency’s website that individuals can take to their licensed medical practitioner, who can validate that the individual does have a communication disability.
Thank you to Ohio State Highway Patrol, State Medical Board of Ohio, Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc., The Arc of Ohio, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, National MS Society – Ohio Buckeye Chapter, Ohio Association of the Deaf, Inc. and Representative Scott Wiggam‘s Office for joining us in productive conversations!