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Card available to facilitate communications

Card available to facilitate communications

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has released a new tool to help improve communications between people who are deaf and law enforcement. The new two-way communication card provides guidance to officers and can help facilitate the interaction.

“Minnesotans who are deaf and hard of hearing suggested this card, which we are confident can help to reduce significant communications barriers and increase overall safety for both people with hearing loss and law enforcement,” said DHS Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson.

The laminated document, which can be kept in the vehicle, identifies the person as being deaf or hard of hearing and offers a few key communication tips. It indicates the best way an officer can communicate with the person with hearing loss, whether through written communication, lip reading or texting. It also includes a set of graphics the driver or law enforcement can use to communicate.

“This is a valuable tool for both the deaf and hard of hearing community as well as law enforcement,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “Any tool that helps with safety and communications is valuable.”

The card was designed with significant input from Minnesotans who are deaf and hard of hearing, who identified symbols that would be most helpful to them in communicating. People who want the traffic card should send an email to 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 here (Source: Minnesota DHS)

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