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KultureBall recognizes lawmakers for sensory inclusive training

The Cade Noah Act, passed during the 2023 legislative session, will help law enforcement aid those with neurological disorders.

That’s a mission close to home for KultureCity. 

As the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities, KultureCity developed the Sensory Inclusive Training for First Responders. Those disabilities include autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, Down Syndrome and other conditions.

Rep. Leigh Hulsey (R-Helena) was recognized for her role in getting the legislation passed and her connection to the namesake of the bill — her son Cade.

“21 years ago, my husband and I welcomed our second son, Cade, who is on the autism spectrum,” Hulsey told the crowd at Saturday’s annual KultureBall in Birmingham. “Cade made me a more compassionate and tolerant person. He changed me. Our role as parents is to advocate.

“His life catalyzed change in our community.” 

She said her tenure on the Helena City Council and time volunteering with Kulture City intersected for an important purpose. 

“Dr. (Julian) Maha approached me about getting the City of Helena Police Department certified,” Hulsey said. “I connected him with Chief Brad Flynn, who went all in and worked to see that all Helena Officers were KultureCity sensory-inclusive trained.

“While Chief Flynn worked tirelessly to get other local agencies on board, the Lord moved me into my current role as state representative, where I had the privilege and honor of drafting and passing the Cade Noah Act.”

Hulsey thanked Speaker of the Alabama House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).

“We have recognized the importance of mental health and those struggling with their own issues that others may not see on the surface,” Ledbetter said at the event. “We have increased funding for these programs and required law enforcement officers to be trained on how to handle these unique cases.

“Rep. Hulsey did an outstanding job identifying a specific issue that needed to be addressed in our state. She took her own personal experience and combined it with the experiences of others to cultivate a crucial training system for law enforcement.”

Hulsey also extended gratitude to KultureCity’s Dr. Julian Maha and House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle), Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville), and Reps. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville) and Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn).

“It takes passion, dedication, and a great team to accomplish positive and meaningful change.,” Hulsey said. “And I had all three.”

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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