JACKSON CO. – Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer is pleased to announce that his department has acquired Communication Boards from the Autism Society of Indiana. Sheriff Meyer said one Communication Board will be placed in each sheriff’s deputy vehicle.
A Communication Board is a device that displays photos, symbols, or pictures to aid people with limited language skills express themselves. The user may gesture, point to or blink at images to communicate with others.
“This type of alternative communication device will be a tremendous asset to our department,” said Sheriff Meyer. “I am so grateful to the Autism Society of Indiana for providing these to us.”
Nonverbal persons, some of whom are on the Autism spectrum, can face great difficulty communicating needs or information in an emergency situation. A Communication Board can greatly enhance the ability to express needs and information.
The boards contain illustrations designed to help officers gain the necessary information to help when communicating with a nonverbal person. Some examples are: Where do you live? Phone number? What medicine do you take? Do you feel sick? There are also symbols for a variety of common health conditions.
Communication Boards for police officers will allow them to learn anything from whether a person needs a tow truck or has a driver’s license. Each board comes with a training video to allow officers to learn how to effectively utilize the device.
The Communication Boards also display a keyboard, allowing persons to point out a message to officers.
“The Communication Boards will allow us to communicate with those on the Autism spectrum as well as with persons who may not speak English and those who have mental health or other issues that prevent them from talking. These will be invaluable in emergency situations,” added Sheriff Meyer.