North Country assemblywoman: Bill for I.D. cards for developmentally disabled passes in Assembly
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 11:52 am

North Country Assemblywoman Addie A. E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says legislation to provide identification cards for individuals with developmental disabilities to assist in their interactions with first responders passed the New York State Assembly.

"This is a bill that is beneficial to both first responders and individuals with developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum," she Jenne said.

"The ID card would be a valuable tool and similar to the positive impact Medic Alert bracelets play in an emergency. Many people with developmental disabilities have communication challenges, and they can be exacerbated in an emergency or other stressful situations," she said

She said the identification card could benefit police officers and rescue personnel as they are assessing situations when they respond to calls.

"I think it would be beneficial to have standardized identification cards for those that might have challenges during their interactions with first responders, including those that have suffered strokes, suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other medical issues that could impact their ability to communicate," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"Our police officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters are often forced to make critical decisions in very short periods of time. Having more information at their disposal can only improve the decision-making process," according to the assemblywoman.

"It's legislation that benefits individuals with developmental disabilities and their families as well as our first responders. I'm hopeful our colleagues in the state Senate will join us in supporting this important legislation," she added.

Similar legislation was passed in the New York State Assembly last year, but the bill failed to move out of committee in the state Senate.