Call in a tip 832-529-6797 or Need Help? Got A Question?

News Updates > Most Wanted > Initiatives to Help Texas Drivers with Communication Challenges

Most Wanted

Initiatives to Help Texas Drivers with Communication Challenges

Posted: Apr 24th, 2016 19:00

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript!

News Release

April 25, 2016

Initiatives to Help Texas Drivers with Communication Challenges

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), along with the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities and Aspergers101, today announced initiatives designed to assist Texans who have communication impairments. In an effort to facilitate effective communication, DPS first reminded Texans of the communication impediment option that drivers may select to be reflected on their driver licenses/ID cards.  DPS also announced that it has recently coordinated with Aspergers101 to allow them to provide training and education to DPS officers about autism spectrum disorders, other disabilities and potential communications challenges associated with those disorders. In addition, the department announced that it is working with Aspergers101 to develop a Driving With Autism camp that will help increase driver confidence and practical skills.

“At DPS, our mission is to serve and protect the people of Texas,” said DPS Assistant Director for the Driver License Division Joe Peters. “This optional notice on the driver license and ID card puts important information in the hands of our law enforcement officers, which will help them better serve and protect individuals with a communication impediment.”

“Protecting and enhancing public safety for all Texans – on and off the road – is paramount for DPS,” said Major Jason Hester, DPS Education, Training and Research Division. “We are pleased to offer these new training initiatives, which will be powerful tools in enhancing understanding of law enforcement as well as help prepare and build confidence in potential drivers.”

Individuals diagnosed with certain medical conditions – such as autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, stuttering or hearing impairment – who experience challenges when communicating with others, may (but are notrequired to) request a communication impediment notice be placed on their driver license/ID card. Printed on the back of a driver license/ID card, the voluntary designation informs officers of a communication challenge – this awareness can help facilitate better communication during any encounter with the individual.

Working in conjunction with Aspergers101, DPS has expanded trooper recruit training to include segments that raise autism awareness among officers, and advise them on how best to approach and respond to an individual with autism during traffic stops and in other instances.

Once the program is developed and launched (later this year), the Driving With Autism camp will feature classroom instruction and hands-on driving practice for eligible drivers with a communication impediment. Camp attendees will also participate in role-play scenarios about what to expect during a traffic stop.

“Our committee is devoted to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities in all areas of life – one of those being transportation freedom,” said Ron Lucey, executive director of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. “We commend DPS for these initiatives that will put that opportunity within reach for more individuals within the autism and disability communities.”

“These initiatives are truly groundbreaking. I have peace of mind knowing that I’m protected with the communication impediment driver license notice,” said Sam Allen, a Texas driver with autism and the son of Aspergers101 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jennifer Allen. “The ability for me to drive is a stepping stone toward a life of independence; and I am grateful that initiatives like the ones announced today are changing the way law enforcement interacts with those with autism or other communication challenges.”

“Much of my fear about my autistic son driving has been eased thanks to the Texas Department of Public Safety. I deeply appreciate that DPS responded to our efforts to raise awareness and seek meaningful policies that accommodate those with a communication challenge related to autism, Asperger’s syndrome, brain injury or other speech impediments,” said CEO Jennifer Allen. “These initiatives set the stage for powerful well-rounded programs that other states hopefully will emulate.”

Founded by Jennifer Allen, Aspergers101 is a non-profit organization that provides information regarding high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and advocates for the autism community. Aspergers101 consists of a team of professionals, doctors, therapists, educators and individuals with autism.  For more information, visit www.aspergers101.com.

April is National Autism Awareness Month and represents an opportunity for communities, organizations and individuals to promote understanding, inclusion and acceptance.

### (HQ 2016-47)

Go To Source

Most Wanted Posts

Most Wanted Fugitive Captured in Harris County

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release May 6, 2016 Danny Ray Ferguson Jr. AUSTIN – Danny Ray Ferguson Jr., 39, a Texas 1
Release: May 5th, 2016 19:00 | All

DPS Urges Motorists to Stay Alert, Use Caution Around Motorcyclists

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release May 5, 2016 May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month AUSTIN –The Texas Departme
Release: May 4th, 2016 19:00 | All

Texans Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season Now

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release May 4, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans t
Release: May 3rd, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Increased to $10,000 for Most Wanted Fugitive

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release May 2, 2016 AUSTIN – The reward for Jose Fernando Bustos-Diaz, 27, a Texas 10 Most
Release: May 1st, 2016 19:00 | All

Beat Summer Rush with Online License, ID Renewals

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 27, 2016 Customers can also take advantage of other technology options AUSTIN
Release: Apr 26th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive from Houston

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 27, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Dan
Release: Apr 26th, 2016 19:00 | All

Initiatives to Help Texas Drivers with Communication Challenges

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 25, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), along with the
Release: Apr 24th, 2016 19:00 | All

DPS Graduates New Trooper-Canine Teams

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 22, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today graduated
Release: Apr 21st, 2016 19:00 | All

Reminder: Reward Increased to $8,000 for Most Wanted Sex Offender

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 18, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding
Release: Apr 17th, 2016 19:00 | All

Most Wanted Sex Offender Captured in Amarillo

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 14, 2016 AUSTIN – Dustin Ray Smith, 33, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender,
Release: Apr 13th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Sex Offender from Amarillo

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 11, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Dust
Release: Apr 10th, 2016 19:00 | All

State Conference Draws Emergency Management Leaders

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 5, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas Division o
Release: Apr 4th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive From El Paso

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 4, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Jaime
Release: Apr 3rd, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Increased to $8,000 for Most Wanted Sex Offender from North Richland Hills

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release April 1, 2016 AUSTIN – The reward for Mark Timothy McBride, 59, a Texas 10 Most W
Release: Mar 31st, 2016 19:00 | All

$5,000 Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 29, 2016 AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Jose
Release: Mar 28th, 2016 19:00 | All

Funeral Arrangements Announced for Trooper Nichols

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 29, 2016 AUSTIN – Services for Trooper Jeffrey Nichols will begin Wednesday
Release: Mar 28th, 2016 19:00 | All

DPS Trooper Dies in Line of Duty

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 27, 2016 AUSTIN – At approximately 10:57 p.m. Saturday, Trooper Jeffrey Nich
Release: Mar 26th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Sex Offender From San Antonio

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 22, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Joh
Release: Mar 21st, 2016 19:00 | All

Texans Reminded to Stay Vigilant, Report Suspicious Activity to State Website

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 22, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Te
Release: Mar 21st, 2016 19:00 | All

Governor Abbott Receives Briefing, Holds Press Conference On Sabine River Flooding

Tx DPS -leaving DPS website Skip to main content Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! You are now leaving the DPS website You are abo
Release: Mar 16th, 2016 19:00 | All

Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Arrested after being Detained in Mexico

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 17, 2016 AUSTIN – Omar Cruz, 31, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive, is now in
Release: Mar 16th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reminder: Reward Increased to $10,000 for Most Wanted Fugitive

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 16, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding t
Release: Mar 15th, 2016 19:00 | All

Reward Offered for Most Wanted Sex Offender From El Paso

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 15, 2016 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Manu
Release: Mar 14th, 2016 19:00 | All

Governor Abbott Declares State Of Disaster In Texas Counties; Elevates Activation Of State Operations Center

Tx DPS -leaving DPS website Skip to main content Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! You are now leaving the DPS website You are abo
Release: Mar 13th, 2016 19:00 | All

$5,000 Reward Offered for Most Wanted Sex Offender from Fort Worth

Sorry! Your browser does not support JavaScript! News Release March 4, 2016 AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has added Lavin
Release: Mar 9th, 2016 18:00 | All