North senior develops self-advocacy cards to help those with disabilities

A Columbus North High School senior diagnosed with autism at age 2 is working to help individuals with disabilities advocate for themselves.

Brandon Mitchell, 18, has developed 25 self-advocacy cards as part of his senior project to help individuals who may struggle to speak in public.

The wallet-sized cards are also meant to be a tool for individuals who may not be able to speak for themselves in a crisis situation or if they get stopped by a police officer, Mitchell said.

The cards also include tips to individuals who are given the card about how they can help those with disabilities, including speaking slowly, calmly and clearly. He said the cards will allow law enforcement officers to gain a better understanding and provide assistance.

Mitchell, who carries his own self-advocacy card that lists his disability and contact information for his parents, partnered with special education teacher Mary Hamlin and Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers on the project.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.