People who have disabilities can face a number of challenges. For some, it includes the ability to communicate with other people.

That can make daily situations and encounters with others challenging and stressful. A local high school student is doing his best, however, to help people with disabilities successfully navigate challenging situations.

Columbus North senior Brandon Mitchell, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2, is helping others with disabilities through self-advocacy cards he has created for his senior project.

The 25 wallet-sized cards he’s developed have phrases and information that’s helpful for those who have trouble communicating. Cards can offer tips for the card’s recipient, such as speaking slowly and clearly. They also can list a person’s disability and contact information.

The idea is to present a card to a verbal person to foster clear communication — particularly with law enforcement — and get help in a crisis situation.

Mitchell’s project is a wonderful idea and a great benefit to people with disabilities. The self-advocacy cards serve as a tool to aid one’s independence.

They also have tremendous potential in helping law enforcement officers better understand situations involving a person who has communication difficulties — so that those times are not misinterpreted incorrectly and result in unfortunate consequences.

Mitchell’s cards also reinforce the value of senior projects for students, and making students think about community impact.

Most importantly, though, Mitchell selflessly used his personal situation as a way to help others. That is commendable and appreciated.

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