Local law enforcement agencies given cards to help communicate with deaf and hard of hearing citizens
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —Today, law enforcement agencies in New Hanover County were given a new resource to communicate with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The county partnering with North Carolina Health and Human Services and Coastal Kia to give officers printed cards to use with the deaf or hard of hearing. Officers can point to images on the card to communicate what they want from individuals who are pulled over. The card also asks the individuals preferred method of communication, listing interpreter, text, assistive listening, gestures, or lip reading.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction. Until we can have people who can interpret, use sign language, I think this is a step in the right direction, to show we want to make sure that we’re communicating, and at least being able to communicate initially until we can get someone to the scene,” said Linda Thompson, New Hanover County Chief Diversity & Equity Officer.
The cards also give law enforcement tips to communicate. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has already begun distributing the cards to deputies.