UNDERSTANDING MENTAL RETARDATION: TRAINING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT
A three-hour training curriculum, Understanding Mental Retardation: Training for Law Enforcement, provides police officers with information about victim and offender issues involving people with this disability. The training includes a fifteen-minute video, program materials, hand-outs, and references for background reading. The ARC of the United States, 500 E. Border Street, Suite 300, Arlington, TX 76010 (817-261-6003) (Davis August 1998).
RESPONSE PROTOCOLS FOR THE MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the Department of Health and Human Services has sponsored the development of a curriculum to provide trainers with a framework for teaching victim service providers about the maltreatment of children with disabilities. Responding to Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities: A Trainer's Guide is made up of five modules that include an introduction to disabilities; the relationship between maltreatment and disabilities; assessment protocols; child protective services practices for children with disabilities; and risk reduction. The training curriculum specifically addresses myths about disabilities; impact of disability on communication and culture; incidence and prevalence of abuse and neglect; signs of abuse and neglect; and medical examination practices. The curriculum manual provides a lecture guide, participant guides, trainer's texts, transparencies or Power Point slides, and videotapes for each module (Steinberg, Hylton, and Wheeler 1998).
SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Disability, Abuse & Personal Rights Project (DAPR) has developed sensitive forensic interviewing protocols for use by criminal justice professionals with victims of sexual assault who have cognitive and communication impairments. A curriculum for police making first response is currently under development. For disability service providers, DAPR has developed training on the identification and reporting of sexual assault. They have also developed training on risk reduction strategies for parents of and individuals with cognitive and communication impairments. They are currently working with the California State Board of Control (SBOC) and child protective services to change the child victim data collection system to include the reporting and tracking of children with disabilities who are sexually assaulted, and children who are disabled as a result of abuse. In addition, DAPR coordinates a national conference, conducts research, and generates articles, documents, and guidebooks on sexual assault primarily of children and adults who have developmental handicaps. Related subjects include: sexual abuse, other types of abuse, sexuality of persons with disabilities, parenting issues, protections of sexual civil liberties, and other civil rights. Issues related to abuse, such as perpetrators with developmental disabilities, and the onset of disability as a result of abuse, are also addressed. Disability, Abuse & Personal Rights Project, Spectrum Institute, P.O. Box T, Culver City, CA 90230 (310-391-2420) www.disability-abuse.com
Enhancing Your Interactions with People with Disabilities. This American Psychological Association (APA) brochure targets victim service providers, mental health providers, advocates, and psychologists and assists them in the development of improved communication skills with people with disabilities. Enhancing Your Interactions with People with Disabilities addresses three critical areas:
- Initial approaches to people with disabilities. The effective use of language in portraying their condition lays the groundwork for the success of further communication. Words mirror prevailing attitudes, and societal attitudes are the fundamental barriers that people with disabilities must overcome to have successful interactions.
- Communication issues. To reduce anxiety when interacting with people with specific disabilities, the brochure offers specific advice on how to communicate with deaf individuals, the visually impaired, the speech impaired, and individuals with mobility impairments.
- Compliance. To meet the legal and ethical obligations as set forth by The Americans with Disabilities Act, and to better serve the needs of individuals with disabilities, the brochure offers guidelines and advice on service requirements, referrals, physical barriers to office access, and specials aids to enhance communication. The brochure is available by mail from APA or in an alternative form on its Web site www.apa.org/pi/cdip/. American Psychological Association, 750 First Street NE, Washington DC 20002 (800-374-2721) www.apa.org.
- All Walks of Life. The mission of this Texas-based, nonprofit organization is to empower social solutions for people with disabilities. They believe that the vulnerability of people with disabilities attracts predators, and that whenever there is a reduction in an individual's mobility or life skills, there is an increased risk of violence and repetition of violence unless measures are taken to prevent it. All Walks of Life promotes the position that people with disabilities can and should engage in prevention solutions, that they are capable of being responsible for self-awareness that they live in a violent culture, and that they should learn violence prevention skills that will help them compensate for their vulnerability. The All Walks of Life Web site includes useful resources and links relating to violence and violence prevention for people with disabilities. All Walks Of Life, 9106 Benthos, Houston, TX 77083 (281-495-9226) http://www.awol-texas.org.
The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) http://www.nichcy.org. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, NICHCY is a national information and referral center on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals that emphasizes services to children and young adults, age twenty-two years or under. State resource sheets that help locate organizations and agencies that address disability-related issues serving children and youth can be found through NICHCY, P.O. Box 1492, Washington DC 20013 (800-695-0285).
Disability Resources, Inc. http://www.disabilityresources.org/. Disability Resources, Inc., a nonprofit organization, maintains the Disability Resources Monthly (DRM) Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet, an extensive online resource established to promote and improve awareness, availability, and accessibility of information that can help people with disabilities. It serves individuals with disabilities through a multidisciplinary network of service providers and consumers, targeting their services and publications to libraries, disability organizations, independent living centers, rehabilitation facilities, educational institutions, and health and social service providers. The DRM WebWatcher maintains an extensive database of disability-related resources (links to Web sites, documents, databases, and other informational materials) in order to perform customized searches, including a page for victims of abuse who have disabilities http://www.disabilityresources.org/ABUSE.html
Chapter 15 Supplement References
Davis, L. August 1998. Understanding Mental Retardation: Training for Law Enforcement. Arlington, TX: The ARC of the United States.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 17 October 1999. Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports, 1998. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
Steinberg, M. A., J. R. Hylton, and C. E. Wheeler. 1998. Responding to Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities: A Trainer's Guide. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Tyiska, C. September 1998. "Working with Victims of Crime with Disabilities." Office for Victims of Crime Bulletin. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime.