Group says Moberly autism directory not inclusive enough

5 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
By: Jared Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department has a new directory for people with autism, but some people think it shouldn't be limited to a single disability.

The co-founded of Missouri Disability Empowerment, Robyn Schelp, said the autism directory isn't inclusive enough. The directory gives police details about community members with autism to help them interact appropriately if the need arises.

Schelp said police need to expand that.

"When we talk about disabilities, we talk about all disabilities and we don't focus on one specific disability, but we start serving everybody," she said.

The Department of Mental Health estimates one in 68 children in Missouri has autism. But the co-founder of Unfinish3d Pieces, Nikki Soendker, said the number has gone up to one in 59 recently.

Ingoglia, whose daughter has a non-verbel disability, said, while those numbers are increasing awareness of autism, many other disabilities are not getting enough attention.

 "That excludes about 50 percent of the children's population for kids with disabilities and so people like my daughter should also be in some kind of registry," Ingoglia said.

No initial plans have been made to include more disabilities in the Moberly registry. Soendker said she believes police might change that.

"I think they're just kind of waiting to see what type of interest this draws. I think they would definitely like to, though," Soendker said. 

Both Schelp and Ingoglia like the model used by the Smart 911 website. It allows people to enter information about all family members. That includes specific disabilities one family member may have or certain allergies.

"The more we can get the word out on Smart 911, we think the better the system will be than having one registry for one type of disability," Ingoglia said. 

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