Pennsylvania teen develops boards to help first responders communicate with people with disabilities

  • Source: WPVI-TV ABC 6 Philadelphia
  • Published: 01/05/2023 12:00 AM

VIDEO: A Delaware County teenager is hoping to change the way first responders interact with people with disabilities by providing them with a new tool. Jessica Smith, 19, has spent the last few years designing police communication boards, which are laminated pieces of paper to help an officer and a person who may not understand them to get on the same page. "They aren't trained well enough to deal with people with disabilities and I wanted to make these boards to start a change," said Jessica, who makes the boards with pictures and easy phrases like 'when is your birthday' or 'scared.' It's based on a board-making program the teen has used her entire life. "I care because I personally have autism and I've had some instances with the police, none of them were too bad," said Jesscia. Still, she thought the interactions could have gone better.


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