The Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) is working towards the launch Project Blue Able, a program aimed at improving interactions with residents with intellectual disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or those with speech and language impairments.

The ICPD has partnered with Access 2 Independence of the Eastern Iowa Corridor, and will host public forums from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at Mercer Aquatic Center’s Proctor and Gamble Room, and from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at the Iowa City Public Library’s Meeting Room A.

The two forums are being held to gather information from individuals across the disability spectrum to help create a pilot program. Police department representative and Access 2 Independence will share information and allow time for feedback and suggestions based on and past experiences with law enforcement.

Project Blue Able was created after being inspired by the work of Connecticut’s Blue Envelope program, where those with Autism Spectrum Disorders are given a blue envelope that holds their driver’s license and other important information. The blue envelope is a sign to police that the driver has a disability and may communicate in a way that officers may be unfamiliar with.

Anyone who identifies as having a disability, family members, and disability service providers, are encouraged to attend the forums and fill out a survey to provide their firsthand knowledge, as well as suggestions to help create a comprehensive and successful program. For those that can't attend the forums, you can fill out an online survey. Click here to complete the survey, which will remain open through Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020.

Date of publication

Friday, February 21, 2020