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Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities

Resource Directory for Service Providers

LAW ENFORCEMENT

 

Assisting Victims and Witnesses with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System: A Curriculum for Law Enforcement Officers (with Trainer’s Guide)

Institute on Disabilities, Temple University (2002), 98 pages, $15
Training module providing law enforcement officers with a basic understanding of mental retardation and its impact on an individual’s ability to interact with criminal justice personnel. The training is designed to enhance an officer’s ability to respond more effectively to victims of crime, as well as witnesses and suspects, who have mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. It includes both knowledge and skill components.
Visit the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University for more information or to order.

Best Practices, Responding to Crimes Against People with Disabilities, Deaf Individuals and Older Adults: A Guide for Law Enforcement and Service Agencies

SafePlace and Family Eldercare, 8 pages
Brochure providing guidance for interviewing crime victims with cognitive disabilities, speech disabilities, mental illness, or physical disabilities; victims who are blind; Deaf victims; and older victims.
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Commonly Asked Questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement

U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 12 pages
Fact sheet that answers frequent questions about the ADA and its effect on law enforcement services involving people with disabilities.
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Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers

Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 8 pages
Pocket guide providing basic information for officers about ADA requirements for communicating effectively with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
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First Responders Disability Awareness Training

Niagara University
Disability awareness training for first responders, with a tailored presentation for law enforcement. The training enhances sensitivity for those working with persons with disabilities, including victims. It includes etiquette and interaction skills, the perspective of persons with disabilities, challenging behaviors, and current trends and topics. Participants learn about the disabilities that they will encounter and how to appropriately respond.
For more information, visit www.fr-dat.com or contact dwhalen@niagara.edu.

First Response to Victims of Crime Who Have a Disability
Office for Victims of Crime (2002), 33 pages
A handbook for law enforcement officers created by the Office for Victims of Crime on responding crime victims who have Alzheimer's, mental illness or retardation, or other disabilities.
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First Response to Victims of Crime: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2010), 98 pages, NCJ 231171
Educational package, produced by the National Sheriffs' Association, looks at the impact of crime on victims and describes steps that law enforcement can take, as first responders, to meet victims' needs. Among the topics included are the special needs of victims with disabilities.
PDF
Order a copy
through NCJRS

Massachusetts Building Partnerships Initiative (BPI) training for law enforcement.

These award-winning, new recruit and veteran police officer training curricula incorporate five learning modules designed to ensure officers can:

  • Identify the prevalence and complexities in conducting investigations of crimes against persons with disabilities.
  • Recognize how to effectively respond to crime victims or witnesses with a disability.
  • Understand the Adult Protective Service system.

(a) For State and Municipal Police Recruits: Adults with Disabilities and the Criminal Justice System Training Curriculum.

Developed by police, clinicians, adult protective service agencies, attorneys, persons with disabilities, educators, and administrators, this one-day training on responding to crime victims with disabilities is mandatory in Massachusetts. Curriculum includes a “Test Your Knowledge” pre-training quiz, PowerPoint presentation with video clips, interactive activities, discussion, case scenarios, handouts, and a post-test. 

(b) For Veteran Officers: Reporting and Investigating Crimes Committed Against Persons with Disabilities Online Training Curriculum.

This training is mandated for all State Police and is accessible to all Massachusetts veteran municipal and state police officers and APS investigators. 

For more information or to obtain a copy of these curricula, contact: jennifer.edwards-hawkins@state.ma.us.

Model Policy—Deaf and Hearing Impaired

International Association of Chiefs of Police, $9.25
Policy designed to provide guidance on effective communication during police contacts with the Deaf and persons who have a hearing impairment, whether those persons be victims, witnesses, or suspects.
Visit IACP to purchase.

Model Policy for Law Enforcement on Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 4 pages
Document providing a model policy for law enforcement agencies on effective communication with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Agencies are encouraged to download and adapt the policy to suit their needs.
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On the Scene and Informed: First Response and Autism

New York State Office on People with Developmental Disabilities, 8 pages
Booklet includes tips for responding to a person with autism. To order print copies, contact NYS OPWDD:

NYS OPWWD Communications Office
44 Holland Ave.
Albany, NY 12229

(866) 946-9733
TTY: (866) 933-4889
www.opwdd.ny.gov

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Police Interactions with Deaf Persons

Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (2009), 11 pages
Article describing police obligations in communicating with Deaf suspects and crime victims. It includes summaries of court decisions and links to resources.
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Police Response to People with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Justice
8-part video series designed for use in roll-call training, which addresses law enforcement situations involving people who have mobility disabilities, mental illnesses, mental retardation, epilepsy or seizure disorders, speech disabilities, deafness or hard of hearing , and blindness or low vision. The 8 segments range from 5 ½ to 10 ½ minutes in length.
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Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities, Bulletin and Toolkit

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2008), bulletin 15 pages, NCJ 223965; toolkit 7 pages, NCJ 223966
Bulletin and toolkit providing a snapshot of the scope and dynamics of an OVC-funded demonstration project. With technical assistance and monitoring from SafePlace, 10 agencies throughout the U.S. worked to improve the local response of criminal justice personnel and victim services providers to people with disabilities. Sections address collaborating, conducting a needs assessment, making a plan, implementing the plan, continued listening to the community, and sustainability.
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Providing Police Services to the Deaf

International Association of Chiefs of Police (2009)
Article, which originally appeared in Police Chief magazine, describing a collaborative effort in Frederick County, Maryland, to better serve the Deaf community and improve public safety.
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Questions and Answers: The ADA and Hiring Police Officers

U.S. Department of Justice (1997), 5 pages
Brief publication providing information on ADA requirements for interviewing and hiring police officers.
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Responding to Violent Crimes against Persons with Disabilities: A Manual for Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, Judges, and Court Personnel. 

SafePlace, $50
Manual providing tools and information to help criminal justice system professionals more effectively respond to, investigate, and prosecute crimes against people with disabilities.
Visit SafePlace for more information or to order.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act: The Potential for Police Liability and Ways to Avoid It

International Association of Chiefs of Police (2006)
Article, which originally appeared in Police Chief magazine, describing the potential for civil liability for police failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
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Victims with Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response: Techniques for First Responders Called to Help Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2011), DVD 72 minutes, guidebook 70 pages, NCJ 231932
Training DVD and guidebook, developed under the guidance of a national advisory board, demonstrates effective techniques for first responders who have been called to the scene of a crime in which the victim has a disability. It not only provides guidelines for interacting with adult and adolescent victims of crime who have communication and/or intellectual disabilities, but also helps law enforcement personnel gain a deeper understanding of the lives, personal attributes, and abilities of individuals with disabilities.
PDF – Guidebook
Video – WMV Video Clip
Video – QuickTime Video Clip
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order the package.

Victims with Disabilities: The Forensic Interview-Techniques for Interviewing Victims with Communication and/or Cognitive Disabilities

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2012), DVD 56 minutes, trainer’s guide 72 pages, NCJ 234678
Training DVD, developed under the guidance of a national advisory board, demonstrates effective techniques for first responders who have been called to the scene of a crime in which the victim has a disability. It not only provides guidelines for interacting with adult and adolescent victims of crime who have communication and/or intellectual disabilities, but also helps law enforcement personnel gain a deeper understanding of the lives, personal attributes, and abilities of individuals with disabilities. A trainer's guide accompanies this video.
PDF
Video – WMV Video Clip
Video – QuickTime Video Clip
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order the package.