Communication Tool Expected to Improve International with First Responders
ALBANY, NY — February 23, 2019 — The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) yesterday announced that standardized identification (ID) cards for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are now available upon request. The goal of the I/DD ID cards is to help first responders — such as law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel — better understand and interact with people with developmental disabilities who may not be able to communicate their situation effectively.
Senator Pamela Helming (R) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D) sponsored the legislation for the I/DD ID cards. Santabarbara was inspired by the need for this tool by his son, who has autism. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation into law in 2018, and OPWDD was charged with making the cards available to New Yorkers. The I/DD ID cards are optional for people with developmental disabilities and are free.
“With this new initiative, New York is taking another critical step to help find solutions to the challenges those with disabilities face each day,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara, Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders. “Offered as a communication tool, the first-of-its kind Disability Identification Card is unique and easily recognizable throughout the state, replacing locally issued identification and the homemade notes we have seen in the past,” Santabarbara added. “Whether it’s an interaction at the airport, in a crowded theme park, or with first responders during an emergency, the cards can help individuals, parents or guardians easily communicate important information about a person’s diagnosis and describe some of the challenges they may face during an emergency.”
SOURCE: New York State | Executive Chamber | Press Office
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I/DD ID Cards
A new state law now makes identification cards available to people who have a medically diagnosed developmental disability. These new I/DD ID cards are meant to be presented to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel to aid in the communication process. If you prefer to use a printable form and mail in your request for an IDD/ID card, download and fill out our IDD/ID Card Request Form.
PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF REQUESTS IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL WEEKS FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR CARD.