MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Good news comes out of the state legislature this year for people with communication disorders. That means those who are hard of hearing or struggle with articulation and pronunciation.
There is now a process for letting law enforcement know about a driver’s situation if they are stopped.
Educational audiologist Courtney Turner explains that it is completely safe and normal for people with communication disorders to be behind the wheel.
“It’s a really common misperception of individuals with communication disorders, and I really think that’s something that this type of legislation can help combat,” Turner said.
She’s talking about Senate Bill 2764.
The bill created car decals for people with communication disorders to put on their vehicle to give law enforcement a heads up to their situation. She says these could help prevent potentially dangerous misunderstandings.
“What should be an innocent interaction between a person and a law enforcement officer, if that police officer is not aware that the person is going to have difficulty understanding them, that could come across as non-compliance. Or, for instance, if the officer is unaware that that person may have some speech differences, it may be perceived as suspicious to an officer who is untrained in those differences,” Turner said.
The decals can go on a license plate or car window and are free to get through a county tax office. All you need you do is fill out this document and turn it in to a county tax office to get your free decal.
“We mail the application document to the Department of Revenue, which in turns mails the taxpayer the decals,” said Forrest County Deputy Tax Collector Zac Howell.
“A huge benefit to this legislation and to having these decals is not only it’s going to give the individual with the communication disorder really a sense of relief and a sense of comfort, but it’s also going to give that law enforcement officer a sense of awareness,” said Turner.