Assembly Bill 161 – the new bill that has recently come into effect in Nevada – is a cause for great celebration among the deaf community, the non-verbal community & those with non-verbal Autism.
Having been a resident of Nevada his entire life, Tim speaks on behalf of the deaf community and expresses immense gratitude towards this development.
Bill 161 Nevada DMV
Those unfamiliar with Bill 161, it’s a bill that mandates the Nevada DMV to include a notification on driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, indicating that the individual has a communication need due to hearing loss.
Tim explains that he has his own personal experience of trying to communicate with the Police Department, & goes on to describe how such situations can be terrifying and confusing for those with hearing impairment, especially when multiple officers are involved, and the individual is unaware of the reason for being detained.
Tim recalls an incident where he was pulled over by authorities, emphasizing the need for better communication between law enforcement and individuals with hearing loss. “I am extremely grateful that this situation occurred because, in the past, they had proposed issuing a separate driver’s license for those who are hearing impaired,” Tim notes that this was an arrogant and insensitive term, highlighting the necessity for more respectful language and understanding towards individuals with disabilities.
New driving bill – Autism
The new bill caters to the diverse needs of individuals with neurodivergence, such as those with autism and language disorders. This will make it easier for officials and others to interact with these individuals in a respectful and accommodating manner.
It’s not only Tim Smalley that is rallying behind this cause. Susan Beckett, vice chairman of the Nevada Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, has also become an ardent advocate after facing her struggles with hearing loss.
In fact, she was completely deaf at the age of 40, despite wearing hearing aids since her mid-twenties. This profound experience helped shape her genuine need to promote awareness and advocate for support for those with hearing impairments.
Benefits of the new driving bill.’
She hopes that the new bill will not only spark further conversations but also provide resources for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Becket is not only grateful for her involvement with the Nevada Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission but also recognizes the pressing need for more assistance in this underserved community, including non-verbal Autistic individuals.
As the advocacy continues to grow, organizations such as the Nevada Autism Center have also emerged to provide education pertaining to Autism. We provide comprehensive therapeutic services for individuals with Autism and strive to promote an inclusive society.