The UConn UCEDD staff and LEND students were invited to a bill signing of HB 7000 (PA 19-147) with Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Governor Lamont praised the students and UCEDD for all the work they had done on the bill. Governor Lamont told the students how proud they should be for making a real difference in the world for the disability community. Representative Linehan, who met with the LEND students at the Capitol, worked with them on enhancing the UConn UCEDD’s Emergency Preparation Flipbook to include a communication aid that would enhance communication between first responders and children and adults with disabilities.
The bill (found below) directs the UCONN UCEDD to expand and revise the communication toolkit previously developed by the UCONN UCEDD for use by emergency medical services personnel to address persons with disabilities during an emergency. This would enable firefighters, police officers, active members of ambulance services, emergency mobile psychiatric services personnel, and mental health crisis intervention services personnel to better meet the needs of a child, youth, or adult with disabilities when needing help. Included would be techniques for serving and interacting with those with autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairment, and nonverbal learning disorders during emergencies when verbal communication may be hindered. The bill requires emergency personnel to carry the emergency prep flipbook and communication aid in their vehicles beginning in January 2020.
LEND Students featured: Alexandra Cascio, Leona Adamczyk, and Taylor Tarka. Michael Figueiredo, Jr. (not featured) also worked on the communication aid.