New ID Card Unveiled to Help Keep People with Disabilities Safe
Illinois State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (pictured) and State Senator Linda Holmes were joined by local law enforcement, social service agencies (including Little Friends) and parents in Aurora on March 13th to unveil a new wallet card available to individuals with special needs designed to ease interaction between police and those with developmental disabilities.
“Individuals who have developmental disabilities will now have the ability to quickly and easily inform law enforcement and first responders of their condition,” Kifowit said. “In highly stressful situations, this ability to easily communicate with first responders can hopefully provide positive interactions instead of potential negative consequences.”
Kifowit led a legislative effort to create the Person with a Disability Wallet Card for those who have been medically diagnosed with a developmental disability, which are now available at Secretary of State driver services facilities across Illinois. Individuals can only receive this card after they have been approved by the Secretary of State’s office for an Illinois Person with a Disability ID Card.
“I’m pleased that my office is playing a role to help improve communication between first responders and people with special needs,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I applaud Representative Kifowit and Senator Holmes for their efforts to establish this wallet card, which will serve as a simple means to de-escalate high stress situations and help law enforcement keep our loved ones safe.”
Lori Price, president of the Board of Education in Indian Prairie School District 204 and parent to a child with autism spectrum disorder, reached out to Kifowit with the idea of the wallet card.
“As a mother of a child who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, I cannot thank Representative Kifowit and Senator Holmes enough for pushing for the creation of this new wallet card,” said Lori Price.
“As parents, we always worry about our children and now that my son will be able to have this card, it makes me feel a little more at ease.”
Residents interested in applying for a Person with a Disability Wallet Card can visit https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x164.pdf or call 800-252-8980 for more information.