Rhode Islanders with autism spectrum disorder are concerned about newly introduced legislation that they say will increase discrimination and stigma. The bill, introduced by Rep. Samuel Azzinaro, would allow the DMV to mark the driver’s licenses and plates of autistic Rhode Islanders, and allow for an autism decal to be placed on their vehicle, as well as a blue envelope inside their car. These markings would be voluntary, and Azzinaro said the idea for the bill came from a Westerly High School student who contacted him seeking to improve communication between drivers with autism and law enforcement. However, the ACLU of Rhode Island and several autistic Rhode Islanders testified against the legislation, arguing that it could be dangerous and enable officers to harass or discriminate against them. While Azzinaro said he’s aware that the bill needs work, it has been held for further study.

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