IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Irondequoit families can now request to put up a sign in their neighborhood indicating an autistic child lives in the area. The state started allowing towns to put up these signs back in May and the town of Irondequoit just got the go-ahead.
Lawana Jones, president of the Rochester Autism Council, said she’s been looking into installing these signs for at least 10 years. She said she’s excited Irondequoit is leading the charge on putting them up locally.
“I think its important because not only are you making the drivers aware that there’s a child in the neighborhood that may wander out into the road, but it also makes your neighbors aware that you’ve got a child in the neighborhood that there are some safety concerns about,” Jones said.
Irondequoit town supervisor Dave Seeley said there are a few boxes to check to get a sign approved. The autistic child is under age 18, the average daily traffic volume in the neighborhood is less than 2,000 cars, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or lower, and the street is residential.
Seeley said Irondequoit officially became an autism-friendly community last year and this is a continuation of that agenda.
“It just really is common sense for us, we have hundreds of families with children living on the spectrum, we’ve taken great strides over the past year and really over the past several years to be an inclusive community in terms of autism,” Seeley said. “If you’re a parent, you want to have some level of comfort. This won’t, I guess, alleviate all the stress that would be inherent in that but it might just be one thing that makes a parent a little more comfortable allowing their child to play outside.”
Seeley said families can start applying to get one in their neighborhood through the town by calling 336-6033 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.