Through a grant provided by the Autism Society of America and Today’s Champions, the Autism Society of Indiana purchased picture communication boards to be placed in the vehicles of all law enforcement officers in the City of Charlestown.
The communication boards will give police providers a way to communicate with a person who may be nonverbal, have limited English skills, have autism or other disabilities or mental health issues. All participants also received a training video on how to implement the communication board.
“We’re grateful to the Autism Society of Indiana for providing these boards as an aid to help us communicate most effectively with people we encounter who might be nonverbal or who have limited English skills,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “Charlestown is committed to fostering an inclusive community environment and these communication boards are a welcome addition to the steps we’re taking as a whole to ensure that our residents and visitors, regardless of individual need, feel connected and can receive top quality service from City staff and first responders.”
Each Charlestown police officer will be equipped with the communication tool along with staff members at City Hall.
Jennifer David, owner of Outward Bound Support Services in Charlestown, shared the information about the grant opportunity. Outward Bound provides positive support to persons, families and caregivers living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury and autism.
The Autism Society of Indiana and Today’s Champions recognizes the need for this type of assistance to first responders and the citizens of Indiana who struggle with communication and wants to provide communication boards for every law enforcement and first responder agency in the state of Indiana.
For more information or to inquire about the communication boards, contact the Autism Society of Indiana at autismsocietyofindiana.org or email@example.com (Kristie Brown Lofland, Executive Board President, Autism Society of Indiana.