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(Canada) Sault Ste. Marie: Police get kits to interact with autistic, nonverbal people

Dec 24, 2023, CBC News: Sensory kits to help Sault police interact with autistic, non-verbal people 

The kits are meant to reduce sensory overload and support better communication between police and the public

Police in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. now have a dozen sensory kits for their officers.

The kits come from the Algoma Autism Foundation, and are meant to help support police when they're interacting with autistic people, those who are non-verbal, or people with other sensory issues.

The kits include tinted glasses, earmuffs, notepads, markers, and a variety of sensory or fidget toys.

Algoma Autism Foundation co-founder, Jamie Boston, explained the kits are designed to help people communicate and feel safe with police in stressful situations.

"They're designed, obviously, for people affected by autism, but they can really be used for a number of different things," said Boston.

"It's just another tool in the toolbox for the police, really."

Boston said the main idea behind the kits is to reduce sensory overloads for people, but he added they won't be able to meet every sensory need.

"We didn't really concentrate on any specific person," Boston explained. "It was more of how many sort of common things can we tackle, you know, in the size of the kit."…

Boston said he hopes the sensory kits will be useful for most people who need them.

"If we can defuse a situation or save a life or, you know, communicate with somebody who otherwise couldn't, that's the long term goal."


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