Emergency Communication Aid

Effective communication during emergencies is crucial. Yet, some individuals may face challenges due to disabilities, injuries, or shock. Also, spoken English or Spanish may not always be the best way to communicate with everyone.

To address this, we've made free communication aids available to download. The communication aids are available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL). These aids are for emergencies when verbal communication isn't possible.

What is a communication aid?

"Emergency Communication Cards"
   Emergency Communication Aid Cards (Click to view)

A communication aid helps people with limited language skills. It helps them communicate better with the people around them. Communication aids provide simple images and symbols. The user can point to them to communicate better.

Communication aids can be used to:

  • express a simple message, such as “I need to use the bathroom”
  • ask questions
  • offer choices

Communication aids help users express their immediate needs and preferences. These aids may increase autonomy. They allow users to make life decisions and communicate their needs to others.

Who does an emergency communication aid help?

An emergency communication aid helps both the individual and the emergency responder. This tool was made to help first responders, volunteers, or shelter managers. It helps them talk about health and medical needs with people who may have trouble communicating in an emergency.


For the individual

Individuals who need communication assistance can download this emergency communication aid. The aid is available in English, Spanish, and ASL. It can be carried with you in case of an emergency.

People who may struggle to communicate
People who may have some difficulty understanding
People who may have hearing difficulties

Population Examples: autism spectrum disorder, speech apraxia, stroke, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, deaf, hard of hearing, learning delays or disabilities, intellectual disabilities, non-English speakers, etc.


For the Emergency Responder

"QR Code"An emergency responder or health care provider can also download the emergency communication aids for anyone who needs communication assistance in an emergency. Click the link below or scan the QR code to access the emergency communication aid.

View the Emergency Communication Aid (PDF)

Download this PDF to your device to access it offline.