Rep. Hambley Announces Passage Of Bill To Help Police Better Communicate With Disabled Ohioans
HB 115 creates system to notify officers of potential communication disorder

COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) today announced passage of House Bill 115, which would establish a voluntary program to help facilitate effective communication between law enforcement and individuals with communication disabilities.

Under the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster), an individual may voluntarily submit a verification form, signed by their physician, to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles to be designated as an individual with a communication disability. This information is then made available to state and local law enforcement only through the Law Enforcement Automated Data Systems, more commonly referred to as LEADS.

“This legislation is a good example of the work the Ohio Legislature is doing to better protect Ohio’s citizens,” said Hambley. “By advising officers of possible communication barriers before they approach a vehicle, we are opening clear pathways for proper law enforcement and avoid complications. As a cosponsor, I am glad that this bill passed.”

Ultimately, the legislation aims to be a positive, beneficial resource for the law enforcement community and people who suffer from communication disabilities such as autism, a hearing impairment and PTSD. By notifying officers that the driver may have difficulty speaking before they approach the vehicle, it allows them to put into action their training for how to best serve disabled individuals.

The bill allows Ohioans over the age of 18 to enroll in the system, as well as minors who are enrolled by their parents or guardians. The database would also be a private, no-labels system that only officers have access to, providing privacy to those who choose to enroll.

House Bill 115 is a Buckeye Pathway bill aimed at strengthening Ohio families and communities. The legislation now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


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