Communication Disability Law

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Communication Disability Law

Any individual with a medically diagnosed communication disability, who drives or regularly has someone with a communication disability in their vehicle, can voluntarily enroll in a database that connects to the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System (LEADS). The law enforcement officer can then be made aware that the driver or a person in the vehicle may have difficulty communicating and can approach the vehicle with awareness to reduce any potential misunderstandings or problems.

Individuals who are interested in self-identifying can complete a Verification Form and take the completed Verification Form  to their licensed medical practitioner who can validate the individual has a communication disability. 

Verification Forms can be mailed to:

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attention: Remittance/DPU
P.O. Box 16521
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521

Completed applications can also be e-mailed to VIS-Administration@dps.ohio.gov or hand delivered to any Deputy Registrar (BMV).

For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions or call 614-438-1203 or 1-800-282-4536, extension 1203. 

Watch an Informational Video

video image with car pulled to side of road and police car behind it

To learn more, watch a six-minute informational video.

Quotes of Support

"Autism Society Central Ohio is delighted to continue its support of the Ohio Communication Disability Law and the education provided about the protections available under it.  We want to thank everyone involved for their efforts to make Ohio a safer place for those with autism and other communication disabilities.” 
    Kathi Machle, Managing Director
    Autism Society Central Ohio

"Communication is a facet of daily living and with the Communication Disability Law, any driver with a communication barrier such as those who are deaf or hard of hearing do not have to be concerned about facing a law enforcement officer that may not understand how to communicate with them or think of them otherwise.   At the same time, a law enforcement officer can be more at ease knowing what is ahead of them when approaching the vehicle.   This law is one step towards greater accessibility for those with communication access needs and ensures that the law enforcement officer has the information needed to approach the person with a communication barrier appropriately.” 
    John L. Moore, CEO/Executive Director
    Deaf Services Center, INC

"The Communication Disability Law helps law enforcement to be more aware and to better serve and protect some of our most vulnerable populations. The Communication Disability Law helps law enforcement be more aware and prepared to have a successful interaction with someone who has a communication disability. Many times not having advanced warning or knowledge can lead to disastrous consequences in law enforcement interactions. The Communication Disability Law can help law enforcement to quickly recognize and diffuse a situation that could turn dangerous or deadly for the person with a disability, as well as the law enforcement professional.” 
    Jon Scowden, C.L.E.E., Chief Deputy
    Delaware County Sheriff's Office

"I am so proud of the work OOD does and glad my son's incident can help bring awareness to the importance of this law. My son and I hope to get the word out to all in the state of Ohio and to those with disabilities.” 
    Diane Page
    Mother of Chris Page

"Transportation is a key component of independently living and working in the community. By participating in this voluntary registry, individuals will be able to exercise their independence with the support of awareness and accommodation, resulting in a safe and inclusive environment for all Ohioans. This registry will assist individuals, some of which are the more than 68,000 people served by Goodwill programs in Ohio, to fully participate in the community and access much-needed transportation.” 
    Emily Turner, Executive Director
    Ohio Association of Goodwill Industries

"Communication is one of the most important roles of law enforcement in our communities. The Communication Disability Law provides an essential tool to make officers aware of important facts which may impact their ability to effectively communicate with an individual. Knowing the possible communication challenges in advance will safeguard our ability to have successful interactions during our contacts with citizens who have a communication disability.” 
    Col. Richard S. Fambro, Superintendent
    Ohio State Highway Patrol

"Sometimes a law just makes common sense. Ohio's effort to notify law enforcement of a possible communication challenge just makes common sense and we at The Arc of Ohio are grateful to Director Miller and the Ohio General Assembly for leading the way.” 
    Gary Tonks, CEO
    The Arc of Ohio 

"HB 115 was the culmination of over a year of work that started when I met with a constituent at a Wood County restaurant.  To go from that table, to the Governor’s Ceremonial Office for a bill signing, and then to the BMV to watch my constituent sign her sons up for a program that keeps Ohioans with communication disabilities and law enforcement safer during routine traffic stops is simply incredible.  I am so excited to see this program grow in the future as more families learn about it.” 
    Senator Theresa Gavarone