The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of policy initiatives in the states. New York enacted ID legislation by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.
The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has started issuing standardized identification cards for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, upon request, the agency announced on Friday.
The goal of the ID cards for individuals with disabilities is to help first responders – such as law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel – better understand and interact with people with developmental disabilities who may not be able to communicate their situation effectively.
The program grows out of legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, and state Sen. Pamela Helming, R-Canandaigua. Santabarbara said he was inspired to push for the new ID cards by his teenage son, who has autism. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the legislation last year and charged the Office for People With Disabilities Disabilities with creating the ID card program.