NY issues free ID cards for people with disabilities

Posted: Updated:
BALDWIN -

New York state is now issuing free identity cards for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and many residents believe it's a good idea.

The state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities has begun issuing free identification cards that explain that the bearer may have difficulty understanding or following directions.

It also shares emergency contact information. It's mean to aid first responders when they come in contact with people with disabilities.

MORE: ID card information
 
Jessica Rios' son, Jesse, has autism and is a freshman at Syracuse University.

She called the ID cards a step in the right direction, but still worries for people who have disabilities that aren't apparent when dealing with law enforcement. She says there should be more training for first responders.

"It is very concerning to me that he would not pick up on cues, someone speaking to him, someone giving him a directive. Law enforcement telling him to stop," she says.

Caretakers for people with special needs can apply for the identification cards online. Rios and other mothers say it will be an added layer of protection for their children.

"This protects our children and as a mother, even though my son is now an adult I’m happy that we're moving toward this," says Rios.

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