In an article published in Sheriff & Deputy Magazine’s March / April issue, David Moser discusses Ohio’s H.B. 115, which implements a tool for law enforcement to use when interacting with drivers with communication disabilities ranging from a hearing impairment to autism or post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. This tool is aimed to prevent routine traffic stops from turning aggressive due to a citizen’s communication disability that the officer might not be aware of.
Now, anyone who has a communication disability in Ohio is able to submit a form notifying law enforcement of their disability, and that form is then uploaded into the database which will notify the officer that this may have an affect on their interaction during the traffic stop. “The notification comes up as soon as the officer runs a vehicle’s plates or driver’s license through their mobile data terminal, but only general information flagging a communication disability is disclosed. The driver’s exact diagnosis is not accessible to the officer for privacy reasons,” explains Moser. Moser says that since this program is still voluntary, this is only the first step in improving interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with a communication disability.
For the full article on pages 70 and 71, you may click here to view the PDF