New Communication Tool for Drivers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing unveiled by Michigan Department of Civil RightsContact: Vicki Levengood 517-241-7978Agency: Civil Rights
Lansing — Communication with law enforcement will be easier for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing thanks to a newly-designed, printable visor card announced today by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley joined MDCR’s Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing (DODDBHH) and statewide law enforcement partners to unveil the new communication tool, designed to store on a sun visor, in a bag or backpack, or on a passenger seat for easy access.
“Removing barriers for Michiganders with disabilities is instrumental in helping them live self-determined independent lives,” Calley said. “This new communication tool is a positive step that improves safety for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as law enforcement partners across Michigan.”
The tool is supported by statewide law enforcement organizations including Michigan State Police, Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, and Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
The visor card, designed to print on a standard 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper and fold in half, is available to download at the Division’s website, www.michigan.gov/doddbhh. The card also can be easily downloaded and saved to an iPhone screen, giving users access to the card with one tap. Android users can save the card to their phone’s files storage app for quick access.
“Having an easy-to-access tool, in my hand or on my phone, will make traffic stops safer and less stressful for both the driver and the police officer,” said Annie Urasky, Director of the Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing. “We are especially proud that so many of Michigan’s top law enforcement organizations have endorsed this tool. We all have the same goal: to ensure effective communication in situations where safety is a priority.”
Individuals also can contact the Division directly and request to have a card mailed to them. To request a card by mail, send an email to DODDBHH@michigan.gov with the words “Visor Card” in the subject line and full name and address in the body of the email. Individuals can also call the Division directly to request a card, at 313-437-7035.
“One of the most important skills of a police officer is the ability to communicate effectively, whether it is during a traffic stop, criminal investigation or rendering aid to someone in need,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “We appreciate the leadership of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in developing this card that will make interactions with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing more effective and ultimately safer for everyone.”
The Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, housed within the Michigan Department of Civil rights, concentrates on helping to improve the lives of Michigan's Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing citizens. The Division’s mission is to affirm the indisputable right of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Persons to secure effective communication. The Division receives input and guidance from a 13-member Advisory Council appointed by the Governor. Find more information on the Division on Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing on the Division’s website at www.michigan.gov/doddbhh.