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Council recognizes 'Autism Month,' launches special-needs registry

Posted: April 16, 2009 5:11 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2009 5:38 p.m.
Residents with special needs can be registered on the city's of Santa Clarita's Web site to help identify and protect them in times of emergency.

The city of Santa Clarita has launched the Santa Clarita Valley Special Needs Registry which will allow law enforcement personnel to be more responsive in emergencies to residents with special needs.

The purpose of the registry is to:

* Have a photograph, description and contact information for people with special needs in our community who may need special assistance in an emergency;
* Be better equipped to help people with special needs who may become lost, injured, or who may wander away from home;
* Be aware of special medical, safety and behavioral concerns of individuals with special needs;
* Be aware of accommodations that may be needed in interacting with the person.

Maintained by the city of Santa Clarita in conjunction with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station and the Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCANN), the registry can help law enforcement identify those who cannot identify themselves due to a disability or special need, such as Alzheimer's or dementia, autism or a speech disorder.

The City Council proclaimed April 2009 "Autism Month" and recognized members of the community.

Addtionally the city launched "Project Lifesaver" -- a pilot program for individuals diagnosed with medical issues such as Alzheimer's or autism, who are non-verbal and/or have a tendency to "elope" or wander -- that helps Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies locate missing people.

Project Lifesaver, to be formally launched in July, uses radio frequency-based equipment maintained by the sheriff's station that, in combination with tracking bracelets worn by individuals, is intended to reduce the time it takes to locate a missing person.

Those interested in being involved with Project Lifesaver can sign up, when registering their loved ones, at the Special Needs Registry. When signing up users can click the "Future Interest" box to recieve information when the program becomes live.


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