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Dept. of Human Services releases communication card for deaf drivers

A new traffic card will allow law enforcement to better communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced Friday.

The state office is issuing a two-way laminated communication card that will act as a guide for officers in interactions with Minnesotans who may have hearing loss.

The card was created with input from Minnesotans who are deaf or hard of hearing.

"Minnesotans who are deaf and hard of hearing suggested this card, which we are confident can help to reduce significant communications barriers and also increase overall safety for both people with hearing loss and law enforcement," said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson, in a news release.

The card, which should be kept the vehicle:


• Identifies the driver as being deaf or hard of hearing, offering communication tips

• Identifies the best way an officer can communicate with the person, whether through written communication, lip reading or texting

• It includes graphics the officer can point to, indicating what information they need, what violation occurred and next steps, such as a warning, ticket or possible arrest

• It includes graphics that the drivers can point to, identifying the issue they may need help with, such as a flat tire, directions, a tow, or having run out of gas

Those who would like a traffic card should contact dhhs.metro@state.mn.us with their name, mailing address and county of residence (or email if they want an electronic copy), or call 651-431-5940 voice or 651-964-1514 video phone. An online version is available at https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-7438-ENG.

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