SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Lawmakers have introduced a "Disabled Person Identity Card" to ease interactions between police and people with disabilities.
The cards are free and distributed at any Secretary of State Drivers Services office to applicants 16 years old and older. People who support the new cards say this will give police a better understanding of a disabled person's actions during a traffic stop, minimizing the chance of a misunderstanding.
"If someone had MS or one of those disabilities....were walking (after) the police asked them to get out of the car... and they are not walking very well, they could mistake them as being drunk," says Liz Sherwin, executive director of the Illinois/Iowa Center of Independent Living.
However, employees there have mixed reviews about the new cards.
Deaf Services Advocate Hershel Jackson says although he sees the benefit behind the new identification cards, he personally would not want one of his own because he is deaf. He says the way things work without the card is just fine.
“I’ll have them put in the database that I’m deaf. If I happen to call the law enforcement for assistance that will already pop up on the data base that I’m deaf," says Jackson.
To apply for the card, people have to fill out an application as well as the signature from a doctor to verify the disability.