New coaching, training urged for police interplay with college students with disabilities

Despite a variety of programs and training courses across the country, persons with disabilities who display “suspicious” behavior and who lack communication and social skills can result in a police officer being able to respond appropriately to and receive calls edit – which can lead to higher rates of excessive violence and incarceration.

Over the course of their lives, people with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to come into contact with the police, either as victims or as perpetrators of a crime – this includes students, according to a research article by Lindsay Diamond of the University of Nevada, Reno and published in the SAGE journal publication Intervention in School and Clinic.

“Police work and working with people with disabilities has been a talking point in my household for years,” said Diamond, assistant professor of special education in the Educator’s Preparatory Program at the College of Education & Human Development. “With my husband who is a civil servant and many family members and friends who work for various agencies, I have always been interested in the interactions between the police and people with disabilities.

“Over the past five years this area of ​​interest has grown as a result of media coverage, and I realized it was time to take action. I conducted a state-wide study to find out what was happening in Nevada . “

In particular, these incidents, published across the country, have raised concerns about an officer’s ability to adequately respond to and de-escalate situations involving a person with a disability. To address these concerns, researchers including Diamond and her PhD student at the College of Education & Human Development have attempted to understand police officers ‘perceptions of people with disabilities, as these perceptions and biases affect police officers’ ability to effectively respond to service requests edit and edit.

A police officer’s perception of people with disabilities is shaped over time and is often based on their personal life experience, on-the-job training, and work experience. However, while some officials report greater understanding of people with disabilities, the results of actions by many officials show the inability to distinguish between people with and without disabilities.

Diamond and her co-author Lindsey Hogue, who are also involved in the University’s Specialized Academic Education program at the College of Education & Human Development, noted that while there is plenty of training across the country, the content, quality, and manner of delivery in However, the individual states are inconsistent. Schools and law enforcement agencies.

“This variability requires a structured and systematic approach to training for both students with disabilities and the police force,” they concluded.

After studying these interactions and how police and people with disabilities prepare for these interactions, Diamond and Hogue of the University of Nevada, Reno proposed a two-pronged training and education approach to prepare the two groups for more successful interactions.

In their peer-reviewed article, Preparing Students with Disabilities and Police for Successive Interactions, published in February 2021, the authors provide a general overview of the two-pronged approach to education.

“We are planning an updated training session and we hope to have our first training sessions in the next six months,” she said. “To begin with, we will conduct training both locally and nationwide, and then promote training at the national level. We have a Community Safety Committee that focuses on first aid training. In addition to the committee, we have a graduate student and a couple of teachers from the Washoe County School District to help develop the content. “

Based on the results of the study, Diamond is working with the JUSTin Hope Foundation to develop and implement training for first responders in Nevada. The foundation works with families and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by promoting inclusion and creating opportunities through education, training and family support.

Diamond and Hogue recommend that after initial disability training, police officers complete annual training as part of their compulsory training block.

“This will ensure that all officers are continuously introduced to the issue of disability,” they wrote. “The ongoing annual training should be modified to present a disability review and opportunities to practice the work using case studies and video scenarios. This type of annual training can be in a personal format or via an online platform with built-in expertise. “

Likewise, students and others with disabilities must be prepared to deal with the police; It is practitioners’ responsibility to instill police awareness among students with disabilities. Diamond will to independently develop a training plan for people with disabilities outside of the work with the JUSTin Hope Foundation.

“In addition to this content, we are currently collecting data from families and adults with disabilities to determine what support families and IWDs need in interacting with first responders,” she said.

Diamond recommends that training for students with disabilities and law enforcement officers be conducted with ongoing interactive teaching approaches and techniques that provide extensive opportunities to apply knowledge and skills acquired through social narration, video modeling, and role-playing with officers.

Diamond teaches graduate courses and is the project leader for Nevada Collaborative: Interdisciplinary Training to Improve Educational Opportunities for Young Children with Autism. NVC is an interdisciplinary staff preparation program funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Office of Special Education Programs to address the nationwide shortage of skilled staff that high-need young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder need through the training of special education and language teachers – Scholars for speech pathologists cared for in early childhood.


Don’t miss these tips!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.