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Special Presentation Tonight By LWPD In Regards To Wallet Cards For Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Lake Wales Police Department is reaching out to the community in an effort to encourage individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to obtain a free Wallet Card. The Wallet Card Project facilitates effective communication between law enforcement and persons with disabilities to avoid any misunderstandings. In addition to being a valuable resource for residents, our local department will also receive training on The Wallet Card and ASD.

    “We chose to partner with the Wallet Card Project to educate people living with ASD, their caretakers and our officers about this resource. We also wanted to further educate our officers on how they might better handle interactions with people living with ASD. Essentially, the Wallet Cards can help someone who may have a problem communicating. At the same time, it can also give an officer a better understanding of the person they have encountered. Although this may not be a fit for every person or situation, we know it’s a step in the right direction”,Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said.

    The Wallet Card is a free resource available for teens and adults with ASD. The card helps individuals communicate clearly with law enforcement and includes information such as the person’s name, disability, emergency contact and any specific triggers. The Wallet Card may be requested for free online at www.justdigit.org/wallet-cards. In addition, individuals applying for the card can watch a short video (closed captioning available) that explains how to use the card and provides tips on how to safely interact with law enforcement. 

    About the Wallet Card Project: The Wallet Card Project was developed through a partnership between Disability Independence Group Inc., the Coral Gables Police Departmentand UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and is being used by other law enforcement agencies throughout the country. 

Schulze said that according to the CDC, the number of peopleliving with ASD is increasing and the department was excited to be proactively engaging their community. He will be leading the department’s first presentation about the program tomorrow evening, January 19, at 6:00 pm. at the Circle of Friends Ministry, Inc., located at 333 Lime Ave. in Lake Wales. The presentation is open to the public and anyone interested in learning more is welcome to attend.

author avatar
Carl Fish

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