The safeTY jacket program is a project in partnership with local first responders and the community. It is designed to assist the first responders, such as police officers, paramedics, fire department, etc. during encounters with individuals with autism.
Why safeTY jacket?
Darcy Kasprowicz, member of the FMWF Chamber Leadership program and cofounder of the ND Autism Center, has a brother with autism. Tyler was diagnosed with autism in 2004. As he has grown older, his family has had some concerns when about interactions with first responders and his overall safety when out in the community. Tyler is not able to communicate like everyone else. Autism impacts the way you communicate and respond to social situations. In addition, some individuals with autism may display repetitive behaviors. With the concerns in mind, Darcy came up with an idea to help. The idea was pitched to the 2019 FMWF Leadership group and a team was formed to make the idea a reality. The name was formed with the goal of providing important information to first responders and keep the individual safe. Through the process the group found out that the system the police departments use call the “files” for alerts “jackets”. Wanting to incorporate Tyler into the name somehow, the safeTY jacket was created. It encompasses all aspects of the project. Keeping individuals with autism SAFE. TYLER was the inspiration. The JACKET keeps it all together.
Initially the program will focus on individuals with autism, with a goal to expand to other populations.