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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Local autism advocate testifies in support of Barrett’s law enforcement autism awareness bill

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, listens to Xavier DeGroat of Delta Township testify on Wednesday in support of Barrett’s legislation to help bridge the communications gap between law enforcement and people on the autism spectrum. DeGroat is the founder of the Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation and was diagnosed with autism at age 4.

Senate Bill 278 would allow a vehicle owner — or their family member — who is on the autism spectrum, is deaf or has hearing loss to choose to put a “Communication Impediment” designation on a vehicle registration. This voluntary designation would be visible to law enforcement when reviewing the vehicle’s registration through the Law Enforcement Information Network — signaling to the officer that the owner or a family member has autism or a hearing issue. This would also be available on a driver’s license for a driver with autism or a hearing issue.


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