A man in Ohio was driving and was pulled over by law enforcement. When asked, the man handed over his license, but did not make eye contact with the officer. The officer became suspicious. The man began fumbling around in his car and the officer suspected that he might be intoxicated. The man was subsequently pulled from his car and handcuffed. Only later did the officers find out that the man has autism.
In Colorado, a woman parked her car in an accessible parking space and walked into a department store to shop. While in the store, the woman used an electric scooter to help her move around. When the woman returned to her car, a police car pulled behind her with lights flashing, blocking her exit. The woman explained that she had Multiple Sclerosis and even showed an MS ID card. The woman also noted that she had a valid handicap placard that allowed her to park in the accessible parking space, to which the officer replied, “You’re not disabled, I saw you walk into the store.”
These stories are REAL examples that affect people living with invisible disabilities every single day. We hear these stories often and we are actively engaging our culture with some major initiatives to overcome these encounters of prejudice and misunderstandings.
What if the man from Ohio or the woman from Colorado had an “approved designated symbol” on their driver’s license, something that validated their disability or chronic illness, oftentimes not readily visible, these interactions may have gone differently.
Under IDA’s National Disability IDTM Initiative, we are pursuing legislation in every state that would allow for voluntary disclosure on government IDs for anyone with any disability, illness or chronic pain. No personal information is stored on the ID to protect the privacy of the individual and their specific disability. The symbol provides recognition of a disability and the need for possible accommodations. Alaska is the first state to have passed this much needed legislation (http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/akol/designator.htm) and IDA is currently working directly with legislators across the nation to advance this initiative. And we want your help!
Disability Symbol Identification Document – HB21-1014
HB21-1014 – The bill adds an option for a person with a disability to request that the department of revenue place a discreet disability identifier symbol on the person’s driver’s license or identification card. The symbol must represent all types of disabilities, such as cognitive, neurological, or physical disabilities.
The bill also requires the department to collect information that the owner of a vehicle voluntarily discloses about the disability of a person who is either authorized to drive, or a regular passenger of, the registered vehicle. The department shall make this information immediately available to a peace officer who queries information about the registered vehicle.
The department is required to notify peace officers about the creation of the disability identifier symbol and the availability of information regarding the disability of a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle.
Colorado HB21-1014 Supporting Organizations
First Responder Interactions Persons With Disabilities – HB21-1122
HB21-1122 – The bill establishes the commission on improving first responder interactions with persons with disabilities (commission) in the attorney general’s office. The commission is comprised of 10 members, including 2 persons with a disability, 2 parents of a child with a disability, 2 first responders, 2 representatives from advocacy organizations, the vice-chairperson of the peace officer standards and training board (P.O.S.T. board), and a member of the P.O.S.T. board’s curriculum subject matter expert committee.
After reviewing the existing Colorado peace officer training and existing available curriculum, the commission must recommend to the P.O.S.T. board a curriculum for peace officer training concerning interactions with persons with disabilities. Subject to available appropriations, the P.O.S.T. board must implement the recommended curriculum by July 1, 2022. The commission is required to review implementation of the curriculum and may recommend changes that the P.O.S.T. board may adopt.
The commission is repealed on December 31, 2023, but prior to its repeal the attorney general may recommend continuation of the commission.
The bill requires the fire service training and certification advisory board to advise the director of the division of fire prevention and control on whether to include the commission’s curriculum or similar curriculum in the fire service education and training program. The Colorado department of public health and environment is required to consider including the commission’s curriculum in training for personnel who routinely respond to emergencies.
Additional States with Bill Sponsors or Legislation
Under IDA’s National Disability IDTM Initiative, we are developing education for Law Enforcement, Emergency and First Responders; Transportation, Travel and Hospitality; Retail Stores and Shopping; Restaurants, Cafe’s and Food Service; Colleges, Schools and Universities; and Family, Friends and Co-workers! This education, using the latest learning and delivery methods, will help provide understanding of the NDID initiative and it’s positive impact on the daily lives and activities of all people with invisible disabilities, illness, injury and pain in the public and private arenas.
Law Enforcement, Emergency and First Responders
Transportation, Travel and Hospitality
Retail Stores and Shopping
Restaurants, Cafe's and Food Service
Colleges, Schools and Universities
Family, Friends and Co-workers
Join us in supporting The National Disability ID (NDID)
How can you help?
Your support is critical to our efforts in providing solutions to these misunderstood situations for people living with invisible disabilities.
- Contact your legislators!! And have them get in touch with us so we can pass legislation in your state.
- Help support the funding needed for our lobbying efforts and creating the certification programming for law enforcement and first responders. We are initially seeking $50,000-$200,000 immediately to keep the NDID moving forward. Every little bit helps! Donate Here!
- Post or “like” one of our links on your Facebook page, Instagram story or Twitter feed.
- Tell your friends and family to get involved!
- Order some of our “Invisible No More” wristbands to share with others to help raise awareness.
Three ways you can make a donation with impact!
- Online with your credit card (one-time gift and/or monthly giving options): give.myida.org
- Make check payable to “IDA” and send to PO Box 4067, Parker, CO 80134
- Launch a fundraiser via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fund/InvisibleDisabilities/
- Text ‘NDIDGIVE’ to 44-321