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Community Disability Law the Focus of Spectrum Center Open House on November 15

October 25, 2023

ALLIANCE – The University of Mount Union’s Spectrum Education Center is hosting a Courage 2 Communicate Community Open House on Wednesday, November 15 from 10 a.m. – noon. The focus of the event will be to educate the community on Ohio’s Communication Disability Law while meeting with and learning strategies from those who support individuals with communication disabilities.

The Communication Disability Law allows anyone with a diagnosed communication disability, like autism, to voluntarily enroll in a database that connects to LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System). This provides the officer with a warning that the driver, or a passenger in the vehicle, may have challenges communicating. In January 2023, the Ohio State Bar Foundation awarded a $22,500 grant to support the Spectrum Center and its Courage 2 Communicate campaign, which provides education about the law.

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“The symptoms of communication disabilities are often misunderstood. For example, a person who is unable to articulate their words clearly or make eye contact consistently may be wrongly accused of noncompliance or intoxication,” said Dr. Kristine Turko, director of the Spectrum Education Center. “The work funded by this grant will Increase the likelihood of people with communication disorders having a positive experience with the law.” 

The Spectrum Education Center is located at 1725 South Arch Avenue in Alliance. Educational materials will be available at the community event, along with the opportunity to discuss communication disabilities with staff from the Spectrum Center. For more information about Courage 2 Communicate or the upcoming event, contact Turko at