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New card created to help deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals communicate with Ohio law enforcement

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Posted at 2:21 PM, May 20, 2022

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Department of Public Safety has unveiled a new communication card to help individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing have an easier time communicating with law enforcement.

The new card, which can be downloaded onto a photo or printed and stored inside a car or wallet, includes various pictures that deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals can point to in order to help them communicate with officers.

The card also features icons of common traffic violations and provides tips to officers so they can effectively communicate with anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

“Removing barriers for Ohioans with disabilities is crucial for helping them live self-determined, independent lives,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “This new communication tool will improve safety for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community as well as law enforcement officers across the state.”

According to Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, there are approximately 303,300 Ohioans who are deaf or are hard of hearing.

“We believe that communication between law enforcement and all citizens is important,” said Tom Stickrath, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in a news release. “OTSO will also print and distribute copies of the card to Ohio law enforcement agencies across the state so that they can have a copy to carry with them.”

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