Communication Training For Positive Encounters

 In #zerobarriers, Freedom Friday
Police office stands next to homeless man sitting in a new wheelchair that the officer helped get for him after his was stolen.

Sgt. Donnie Webb helped homeless man to get a new wheelchair after his was stolen. Photo credit: Wideblueline

Often times, police training does not prepare them for encounters with those with disabilities. We have all heard the bad stories, but one mother is focused on improving awareness and training for law enforcement when working with people with disabilities. Read her story here.

Communication can help not harm

Behaviors are often mentioned when talking about encounters between people with disabilities and police.  Unfortunately, this causes many to miss the point.  When someone is trying to communicate something and they are unable to, they can become frustrated, even agitated.  Daily we rely on communication to fulfill our needs.  I shared a story recently about an entire community learning sign language so that they could communicate with one of the newest and youngest residents. It is relevant to share with you here since we are talking about communication.  Unfortunately for so many disabled people, encounters with law enforcement do not end well.  Check out this article that points out the importance of police training to interact with people on the spectrum.

Communication can save a life

Just think about that. Something so simple, an understanding, can make the difference between life or death. That alone should be a tipping point for law enforcement agencies all over the world to explore additional training.  Their ability to communicate effectively would mean the world to so many.

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