Schmick bill would help first responders and others identify those with developmental disabilities

Legislation proposed today in Olympia would allow law enforcement, social workers and first responders the ability to quickly ascertain those with developmental disabilities.

House Bill 2463, sponsored by Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, would provide an optional designation on a driver's license or identicard for those with developmental disabilities.

Schmick, the ranking member on the Health Care and Wellness Committee, said the designation would be completely voluntary and could be helpful in a variety of circumstances.

“In many cases, we have specific training for our first responders, law enforcement and social workers in how to communicate and work with those who have developmental disabilities,” Schmick said. “But sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain, especially in high-stress or tense situations. This designation – for those who seek it out and want it – could help provide a quick verification that they are someone who may require a little more attention, explanation or communication.”

Schmick said his legislation is a constituent request bill from families who are requesting the optional designation. The designation is dependent upon official documentation or alternate form of ID that demonstrates the individual has a developmental disability and can't cost extra.

The 60-day 2020 legislative session began Monday, Jan. 13.


Washington State House Republican Communications