Registry for island's disabled proposed - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Registry for island's disabled proposed

Posted: Updated:

In times of emergency, first responders don't always have all the information when it comes to helping individuals with disabilities. But legislation has been introduced to change all that by creating a registry for individuals with disabilities.

"I think this is something that is badly needed," said Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities director Benny Servino, referring to bill 70 introduced by Senators Nerissa Underwood and Rory Respicio - a piece of legislation he fully supports. "Bill 70 is a bill that looks at establishing a registry for people with disabilities and it is intended to work in concert with the first responders, the law enforcement officers so they can have access to information data about people with disabilities in the community that provide them the opportunity to speak to them, communicate with them more affectively, provide the necessary services and support that is needed for them especially in areas and times of natural disaster," he said.

While he couldn't give an exact figure, Servino says about 10% of the population worldwide live with a disability. Under the proposed legislation, DISID would be the single point of entry to maintain the registry and provide the information to government agencies and departments that employ first responders. "And we want to protect the integrity of the information and ensure again we comply with HIPAA requirements and comply with our requirements as far as confidentiality of information," he said.

Bill 70 would appropriate $150,000 to be used solely for the creation and implementation of the registry. "With this new registry, it will help us collect the data and I think it's important that we collect this data not only for first responders and law enforcement officers, but also for our island when we look at grants, we have accurate data and accurate numbers, so we won't duplicate those numbers," he said.

Servino says while DISID provided initial feedback on the legislation, he plans to offer suggestions such as incentives for individuals with disabilities who sign up such community updates on events and discounts from businesses. "They may need certain types of communication styles, officers don't know if the individuals are deaf or have a mental health condition so they need to communicate with them very appropriately and affectively and not make any assumptions, and I think that's a critical need in the community," he said.

Servino says he plans to meet with the Guam Police Department, the Guam Fire Department and the Bureau of Information Technology to get more feedback on ways to implement the registry, should it pass. A public hearing on bill 70 is set for April 16 at 10am at the Guam Legislature Public Hearing Room.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Mother arrested for child found at school

    Mother arrested for child found at school

    A mom is in jail while her 4-year-old is in the custody of Child Protective Services. It apparently took Donicia Topasna Taitague almost five hours to report her child missing.  She was arrested for child abuse and neglect.More >>
    A mom is in jail while her 4-year-old is in the custody of Child Protective Services. It apparently took Donicia Topasna Taitague almost five hours to report her child missing.  She was arrested for child abuse and neglect.More >>
  • Military responds to senators on Surface Danger Zone

    Military responds to senators on Surface Danger Zone

    You may not be able to post more public comments, but opposition to the Navy's proposal continues to grow offline. A handful of senators have sent formal requests urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's not move forward with establishing a danger zone inMore >>
    You may not be able to post more public comments, but opposition to the Navy's proposal continues to grow offline. A handful of senators have sent formal requests urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's not move forward with establishing a danger zone inMore >>
  • GEC counting 2018 write-in ballots

    GEC counting 2018 write-in ballots

    The Guam Election Commission is busy recounting write-in ballots. At a meeting held Thursday morning, GEC Director Maria Pangelinan says their office is tabulating and recording all write-ins for the General Election. Though she notes they've done it befoMore >>
    The Guam Election Commission is busy recounting write-in ballots. At a meeting held Thursday morning, GEC Director Maria Pangelinan says their office is tabulating and recording all write-ins for the General Election. Though she notes they've done it befoMore >>
Powered by Frankly