INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has new tools aimed at helping officers to communicate better with people with autism.
IMPD is getting more than 1,300 emergency communication boards. The boards serve a dual purpose. They will serve the officers as well as people who struggling with speech, so both can communicate with each another.
The department plans to put 1,375 communications boards in the vehicles of IMPD patrol officers. The boards are folded pamphlets with pictures, a keyboard with words, a pain chart, and other images; people who are have autism or are nonverbal can point out images on the board to communicate in an emergency.
The Autism Society of Indiana told News 8 on July 29 that it purchased the boards through a grant provided by the Autism Society of America and Today’s Champions. By July 29, the organization had handed out 6,000 communications boards to police agencies across central Indiana. The Indiana goal is to provide boards for every law enforcement and first responder agency in the state.