WXXI AM News

Irondequoit becomes an "Autism Friendly Community"

Apr 16, 2019

The town of Irondequoit is adopting a proclamation that will declare that it is an "Autism Friendly Community."

Town Supervisor Dave Seeley says Irondequoit already has implemented training for the police department and other town operations to be more inclusive and supportive, and the formalizing of that policy comes during the annual recognition of April as National Autism Awareness Month.

He said training for police officers helps them to be more supportive when they have interactions with someone who is on the autism spectrum.

“The police officer has a card, when they are in the field, if they know the person they’re dealing with is someone on the autism spectrum, there’s verbal cues, communication, best practices that really ensure that that experience with the police officer is a good one," Seeley told WXXI News.

Seeley said other town departments are getting similar training, and eventually, he hopes the town government can be a resource to businesses and other organizations in the town who need that kind of training. 

Seeley said the town designation also involves expanding its partnership with the Autism Council of Rochester. 

This story was produced by WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.