Victims With Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response: Techniques for First Responders Called to Help Crime Victims Who Have Disabilities [open pdf - 869KB]
This training guide "provides a specific set of guidelines for first responders (e.g., law enforcement officers, paramedics, victim advocates, forensic interviewers) who have been called to the scene of a crime in which the victim has a disability. It is designed to help these professionals hone their ability to work with individuals who present specific challenges to a successful first response. Developed under the guidance of a national advisory board, this DVD provides guidelines for interacting with both adults and children, and places special emphasis on crime victims who have communication and/or intellectual disabilities. Intellectual disabilities, which involve the mental process of knowing, include disabilities such as mental retardation and autism. [Note: Despite the fact that the term retardation is considered pejorative by many in the disability community, this term remains current in diagnostic nomenclature and is therefore used in this guide.] Communication disabilities, which have to do with physical involvements that interfere with a person's ability to convey information and ideas, include disabilities associated with speech production (e.g., cerebral palsy, stroke). Crime rates that involve crimes against children and adults with disabilities far exceed rates of crime against individuals who do not have disabilities. [...] Although research on the crime victimization of individuals with disabilities is sparse, the findings are consistent that crime rates are much higher within this population. Additionally, individuals who acquire disabilities as a result of crime victimization represent a significant number each year, but public recognition of both of these populations continues to be all but absent."
United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/