Autism Together has teamed up with Cheshire Autism Practical Support (ChAPS), Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to launch the new ‘Autism Attention Card’ – a personal card designed to ensure people on the spectrum are given appropriate support by emergency services.
The card helps people diagnosed with autism to receive suitable help in an emergency situation. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, emergency services are being trained to engage more effectively with people with hidden disabilities in crisis situations.
Details of the cardholder’s disabilities can be recorded onto Merseyside Police’s intelligence data system, flagging them as vulnerable.
Robin Bush, CEO at Autism Together, said:
“The Attention Card is a great way to support autistic people when they are out and about in their communities. Occasionally difficulties can arise when a person on the autism spectrum displays behaviours that are misunderstood by the general public. Through using the Attention Card a person will be able to quickly identify themselves as being autistic and be offered the right support from the local police force. This is a fantastic initiative and we are delighted to be working in partnership with ChAPS to promote the scheme across Merseyside.”
Sergeant Mike Brumskill, of Merseyside Police, said: “If you are eligible for the card or know someone who would benefit from it, I would urge you to apply.”
“The attention card scheme has been a great success in Cheshire since its launch with numerous examples of good practice in often difficult and distressing circumstances.”
The launch of the card in Merseyside as well as Cheshire will support even more people on the spectrum when they are faced with problems with the authorities.
The initiative has been backed by the region’s police commissioner Jane Kennedy, who said: “This is such a simple tool that can bring real benefits to people living with autism.”