Arizona Bill Would Update The Silver Alert Notification System

By Kathy Ritchie
Published: Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 8:30am

A bill moving through the Arizona Legislature would update the Silver Alert notification system to include people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

You’ve likely received a silver alert on your phone or seen one on those electronic billboards dotting Valley freeways.

They’re issued if a person 65 or older or someone with Alzheimer’s disease goes missing.

Under the new guidelines, Senate Bill 1162 would include people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, regardless of their age.

"Wandering, or elopement as it’s sometimes called, is a problem for adults and children with developmental disabilities and certain diagnosis are more prone to it. Autism, we know for a fact, is one of the most prevalent diagnoses," said Jon Meyers with the Arc of Arizona, a disability advocacy group.

"And what we’re trying to do is expand awareness of the fact that the need to help people who have wandered transcends age," he said.

Meyers said people with Down syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are also prone to wandering.

Senate Bill 1162 now moves to the Committee of the Whole.