Vancouver police introduce 'visor cards' to facilitate communication with deaf residents

A new Vancouver Police Department initiative aims to improve communication between police and people who are deaf and hard of hearing. (Vancouver Police Department)

A new Vancouver Police Department initiative aims to improve communication between police and people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The department recently equipped all of its patrol vehicles, including motorcycles, with a two-sided visor card that features words and icons officers and members of the public can point to during an interaction.

On one side, the card helps police officers indicate their intentions. The other side helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate with officers.

The cards are a product of collaboration between the VPD and the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility, a B.C.-based nonprofit organization.

“The visor card is a milestone with our local community to improve accessibility and inclusion,” said Christopher T. Sutton, the centre's CEO, in the VPD release.

“When persons with disabilities can participate in all aspects of society, it enriches Canada’s economic and cultural diversity.”

Funding for the project came from a grant from the Vancouver Police Foundation.

Members of the public can pick up their own copies of the visor cards at any of Wavefront's offices in Vancouver.