The Commission on Disabilities is looking into the feasibility of a sticker program to alert first responders if there is a person with a disability living at the property.
Years ago the Tot Finder program stickers were used to identify the bedroom of a child in the event of an emergency. What the commission is suggesting is to identify people with special needs who may be unable to communicate with first responders, such as people with autism.
Proposed by Commission member Enza Goodwin, who got the idea from the television news.
“Stickers specifically let first responders know when someone with a special needs may be non-verbal, such as someone with various forms of autism,” Goodwin explained.
Co-chair Ralph DeCicco thinks that they would also be able to create a database for first responders… so if a 911 call comes in first responders would know.
“That caught my attention because of my own son and I thought if someone did come over he might not respond to what is being asked,” said Enza “That’s kind of a big deal for us and for many people who have children with special needs, particularly autism.”
It was also suggested that first responders also visit special needs classrooms.
Similar stickers are also used on automobiles in the event of an accident. All agreed that in certain situations kids might just take off.
“There is such a need for this,” said member Michael Freni. “I’m surprised this wasn’t done years ago. I think this is something we could do with the help of the city or schools, or private donation. First and foremost it’s about safety.”
So far it has been suggested that the stickers could cost $5 each to produce. DeCicco has been talking with Fire Chief Chris Bright about possibly funding a sticker program through a grant.