Tuesday, May 24, 2011

City of Bloomington Special Needs Registry

The City of Bloomington and Monroe County are promoting the voluntary registration of information from people with disabilities for use by first responders. The initiative coincides with May 23 through 29 being designated "Special Needs Registry Sign-Up Week." The "Special Needs Registry for First Responders" provides first responders immediate access to disability-specific information for use in emergency situations. Residents with disabilities are encouraged to sign up.

In the event of an emergency, information provided by residents lets emergency personnel know about visual, hearing, mobility impairments, dementia and developmental disabilities for those who have signed up with the registry.

"Anything that can help emergency personnel provide the highest level of care as quickly as possible is a big win for everyone," said Mayor Mark Kruzan. "This really is a great initiative that can affect the community in a positive way."

Individuals with disabilities or family members who would like to be included may register at http://bloomington.in.gov/specialneedsdispatch.

The registration form may be printed from the website, completed and mailed to Bloomington/Monroe County Special Needs Registry, 220 E. 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47401. Alternative formats of the registration form are also available; paper, large print, Braille and Spanish language forms may be obtained by calling 349-3429 or e-mailing human.rights@bloomington.in.gov. Anyone needing assistance in completing the form may use the same contact information.

After registration, a City representative will contact registrants every six months to ensure the information is up to date.

"This registry is an extremely important step toward improving effective emergency preparedness for individuals with disabilities in Monroe County," said Katie Herron, Chair of the City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility. "Information gathered will allow first responders to maximize the effectiveness and quality of care provided. Having disability-specific information prior to arriving at the scene of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death."

For more information, contact Craig Brenner at 349-3471 or brennerc@bloomington.in.gov.

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