What is Code Joshua?
CODE JOSHUA is a call for emergency assistance, uniquely created for individuals and families living with autism. Its purpose is to sensitize first responders to recognize, respond to, and safely approach individuals on the autism spectrum and other persons with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). It immediately alerts police officers, firefighters, health care workers, and other personnel to respectfully approach autistic citizens in a crisis with sensitivity and caution.
The Inspiration for CODE JOSHUA
It started as a peaceful evening out for the Rich family – mom Mizpah Brown-Rich, dad Kerry Rich and son Joshua. They strolled into Joshua’s favorite restaurant for dinner. The atmosphere was busy, so they knew Joshua’s sensory triggers would likely flare up. Kerry decided to take Joshua for a walk to calm his anxiety, but an unexpected phone call by a stranger to the local police created a heightened level of discomfort. It was this experience that became the inspiration for CODE JOSHUA.
Accessing CODE JOSHUA in Crisis Situations
Joshua’s Gift, a (501)(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, is creating a robust registry for individuals with autism and IDD to guide appropriate crisis response by 911 dispatchers. Families can enter their dependent’s profile into a CODE JOSHUA database that provides quick access to descriptive information about individuals living with autism and IDD. First responders in the field will utilize the individual’s profile information to familiarize themselves with the crisis behaviors and exercise appropriate responses using trained de-escalation techniques for a safe outcome.
How to Help
Visit the Donate page to learn how supporters can help Joshua’s Gift raise funds for the CODE JOSHUA registry and other needs. Joshua’s Gift also seeks donations for a special CODE JOSHUA window decal to alert emergency personnel and others that someone with autism is present.