Links Module 11

SECTION 2: Strategies for Customization

Adapting and Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The following resources provide guidance on working with students with a variety of disabilities. The resources provide information about adaptations that can be made to instructional techniques and accommodations that can be provided to increase inclusion in the classroom.

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Link: cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/disabilities/

Successful Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Source: Learning Disabilities Association of America
Link: ldaamerica.org/successful-strategies-for-teaching-students-with-learning-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/teaching/topics/inclusive-teaching/teaching-students-with-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: University of Rochester
Link: www.rochester.edu/college/teaching/teaching-guidance/students-with-disabilities.html

Etiquette for Working with Students with Disabilities
Source: Best Colleges
Link: www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disability-etiquette/

Students with Disabilities in the College Classroom
Source: HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
Link: www.heath.gwu.edu/students-disabilities-college-classroom

College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators
Source: Maryville University
Link: online.maryville.edu/disabilities-guide/

Tips for Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: The University of Wyoming — University Disability Support Services
Link: www.uwyo.edu/wind/echo OR www.uwyo.edu/wind/index.html

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education
Source: DO IT Center, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/invisible-disabilities-and-postsecondary-education
Related Video – Captioned and Audio Described (18:44 minutes)
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/videos/index.php?vid=36

How to Teach and Accommodate
Source: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Link: www.umassd.edu/dss/resources/faculty-staff/how-to-teach-and-accommodate/

23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child
Source: Special Needs Resources
Link: www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/16/23-ways-to-communicate-with-a-non-verbal-child/

Instructional Strategies
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/at-a-glance-classroom-accommodations-for-nonverbal-learning-disabilities

Customizing the Lesson Using Presentation Material and Interactive Exercises

There are three sets of resources provided that can be woven together to customize the learning experience, depending on your goals as a facilitator for this lesson on the Law Enforcement and the ADA (e.g., providing a very simple introduction versus teaching the basics as a platform for having students engage in deeper learning about complex examples). These include: (1) advance preparation material that students can review; (2) a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a presentation and discussion format; and (3) a set of interactive exercises to stimulate applied learning, creativity, and deeper thinking about the concepts.

1.    Advance Preparation Material for Students

This lesson provides a very simple, high-level overview of Effective Communication with Law Enforcement. The goal is to introduce students to the topic Interacting with Law Enforcement and provide examples pf where the ADA applies to areas of law enforcement. Suggested resources for advance preparation include readings and videos about law enforcement and the ADA and rights and responsibilities.

As noted, these materials can be provided in advance to students, or if the class session is long enough, they may be used in class prior to presenting the PowerPoint slides and getting into a specific discussion of the ADA. Alternatively, they could be used as both advance preparation (pre-homework) and repeated in class to reinforce the learning.

2.   PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides can be used in class to provide an overview of The ADA in Law Enforcement. Combined with the interactive exercises, the presentation can be extended to cover a long class session or multiple smaller class sessions. The slides can also be presented on their own as part of a short lesson on The ADA in Law Enforcement.

3.   Interactive Exercises

Several interactive exercises are provided to engage the students in considering specific examples that relate to the material “The ADA and Law Enforcement”. For example, while the presentation material explains the ADA and discusses the accommodation process, an interactive exercise leads the students to practice how to request an accommodation. Therefore, the exercise provides a concrete lesson on the accommodation process and explains how the ADA is a law that applies to law enforcement.

 

 

SECTION 3: Suggested Advance Preparation for Facilitators

Readings

Commonly Asked Questions about the ADA and Law Enforcement
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/q&a_law.htm

Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/lawenfcomm.htm

Text to 911: What You Need to Know
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Link: fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911

Interacting with Law Enforcement (PDF 7 pages)
Source: Disability Rights North Carolina
Link: disabilityrightsnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Resource_Factsheet_Interacting_with_Law_Enforcement_2015.pdf

Videos

Marlee Matlin Video on Deaf and Police Interaction (ASL & Captions, 8:15 mins)
Source: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Link: aclu.org/video/marlee-matlin-deaf-and-police-interaction

SECTION 4: Suggested Advance Preparation for Students

The following advanced reading assignments and video excerpts can be assigned to students to prepare them for learning Law Enforcement and the ADA.

Readings

Commonly Asked Questions about the ADA and Law Enforcement
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/q&a_law.htm

Interacting with Law Enforcement (PDF 7 pages)
Source: Disability Rights North Carolina
Link: disabilityrightsnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Resource_Factsheet_Interacting_with_Law_Enforcement_2015.pdf

Text to 911: What You Need to Know
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Link: fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911

Videos

Marlee Matlin Video on Deaf and Police Interaction (ASL & Captions)
Source: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Link: aclu.org/video/marlee-matlin-deaf-and-police-interaction

 

 

SECTION 5: Presentation

Pre-Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Record responses during this activity and save the list for an activity at the end of this module.

Facilitator Script: “The mission of law enforcement or police officers is to protect and serve. What are some ways we can think of that police officers help us or assist us and our families, neighborhoods and communities? Let’s make a list of all the ways we might interact or communicate with police officers.”

Record all responses from the group.

“Today, we are going to learn about communicating and interacting with law enforcement officers.”

Facilitator Note: Use the Module 11 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… Law Enforcement and the ADA.

 

 

Module 11 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… The ADA in Higher Education

Slide 1 – Pathways to Careers…. ADA in Higher Education

Slide 1 Notes – Pathways to Careers…. Law Enforcement and the ADA

Objective: The student will be introduced to the topic “Interacting with Law Enforcement.”

Facilitator Talking Points:

Chances are, you know that terrible feeling when you look in your mirror and see the flashing lights of a police car pulling you over. The first interaction you have with the police are very important. Today, we want to talk about your rights under the ADA if you are pulled over or arrested by a police officer.

Slide 2 – Who are law enforcement officers?

Slide 2 Notes – Who are law enforcement officers?

Objective: The student will identify multiple types of law enforcement officers.

Facilitator Talking Points:

There are many different types of law enforcement officers. Many have special roles like enforcing traffic laws, preventing crime, or carrying out the orders of a judge. Some are local like your town’s police department or your county sheriff. Other law enforcement officers are responsible for enforcing laws across the state like the state police. There are also national law enforcement officers like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), federal marshals, or border patrol agents. Law enforcement officers are needed to keep us safe, enforce laws, and to prevent crime.

As you become an adult, you are more likely to have contact with the law enforcement officers in your community. Interacting with the police is stressful for anyone. It can be even more stressful if a person with a disability is involved. According to Disability Rights North Carolina, when officers do not have proper training or experience, the situation is stressful for both the person with a disability and the police officer. Many times, communicating is very stressful. People who are D/deaf or have problems understanding a person may a very stressful time when trying to communicate with the officer.

Slide 3 – Pathways to Careers…. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement

Slide 3 Notes – Pathways to Careers…. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement

Objective: The student will explain why law enforcement is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Facilitator Talking Points:

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. The law provides equal opportunity for people with disabilities in work, in the communities where they live, in government services, and in communication. Police departments are part of local, state, and federal governments so your rights are protected when you interact with the police.

 

 

Slide 4 – Law Enforcement Responsibilities under the ADA

Slide 4 Notes – Law Enforcement Responsibilities under the ADA

Objective: The student will list the four areas where state and local government agencies have a responsibility to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Under the ADA, law enforcement must ensure that they do not discriminate against people with disabilities. This means that a program offered by the police, like a citizen police academy, must allow equal access for someone with a disability. This includes large print or Braille documents for someone who is blind, a sign language interpreter for witness interviews, and captioning on instructional videos for someone who is D/deaf. It also means that buildings must have ramps so someone who uses a wheelchair can get inside or visual fire alarms in case of an emergency. Websites and smartphone apps must also be accessible for people who use screen readers or other technology. We will discuss each of these areas in more detail.

Slide 5 – Examples of the ADA and Program Access in Law Enforcement

Slide 5 Notes – Examples of the ADA and Program Access in Law Enforcement

Objective: The student will discuss how a program can be made accessible for his/her disability related needs.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Many local police departments have a program known as the Citizens Academy. Therefore, it is considered a program that would be covered under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Citizens Academy is usually a free community outreach program designed to provide citizens who live and work in the city a unique opportunity to learn more about the local Police Department. It typically features a classroom setting with speeches by law enforcement personnel from several divisions. There are also a variety of learning experiences outside the classroom. These experiences may include a ride-along in a police car or touring the communications center. There is an application process and qualifications for the program.

If a person with a disability applied for the program and met all qualification standards, the police department would need to ensure that the program was accessible. For a person who is D/deaf this might mean hiring a sign language interpreter for the Academy and ensuring that all videos are captioned. For a person who is blind or low vision, this might mean providing materials in alternate formats such as accessible, electronic documents, large print, or Braille.

 

 

Slide 6 – Examples of the ADA and Buildings in Law Enforcement

Slide 6 Notes – Examples of the ADA and Buildings in Law Enforcement

Objective: The student will discuss how programs must be made accessible when the building is not accessible.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Title II of the ADA requires programs to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. That does not mean that each building used by law enforcement must be accessible. The ADA is flexible in how to achieve the goal of program access. In the places where buildings are not accessible, law enforcement must move their programs to another accessible building, or an officer may have to go to the person with a disability. If a policy is changed, it is important the police train officers and deputies about the policy changes.

Example 1: A police station in a small town is inaccessible to individuals with mobility disabilities. The police department decides that it cannot alter all areas of the station because of they do not have enough money to make the changes. The town decides to alter the lobby, areas used by the public to fill out crime reports, obtain copies of investigative reports for insurance purposes, or seeking referrals to shelter care, and restrooms are accessible. The department makes plans to conduct victim and witness interviews with individuals with disabilities in a private conference room in the local library or other government building. They also consider using a neighboring department’s accessible lock-up for detaining suspects with disabilities. These measures are consistent with the ADA’s program accessibility requirements.

Example 2: An individual who uses a wheelchair calls to report a crime. She is told that the police station is inaccessible. The police department has a policy so that a police officer meets individuals with disabilities in the parking lot to take crime reports. The individual arrives at the department’s parking lot, waits for three hours, becomes frustrated, and leaves. Because officers were not properly trained about the policy, the police department did not meet its obligation to provide equal access to police services. The department also lost valuable information necessary for effective law enforcement.

 

 

Slide 7 – Examples of the ADA and Communications in Law Enforcement

Slide 7 Notes – Examples of the ADA and Communications in Law Enforcement

Objective: The student will understand that there are many ways to communicate based upon the situation.

Facilitator Talking Points:

We all communicate differently. Some of us use spoken word. Others use sign language. Some people prefer to read lips. Some people have great difficulty being understood when they speak. Others use a communication aid such as a hearing aid or assistive listening device. Other ways to communicate with someone is referred to as auxiliary aids and services. These can be as simple as writing notes to each other. They can be as complex as an amplified headset, screen readers, captioned phones, and videotext displays.

Police officers are required by the ADA to ensure effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The type of communication that is required will depend on the type of the interaction and the needs of the individual.

Example 1: If you get pulled over for a traffic violation, such as speeding, writing notes with the police officer may be considered effective communication as long as the conversation remains easy to understand.

Example 2: A family member or friend may interpret if you are only asking for directions and not dealing with a law enforcement issue such as an arrest.

Example 3: If you are ever detained or arrested, you have the right to be able to communicate in your preferred way. If you use sign language, you must be provided with a qualified interpreter.

 

 

Slide 8 – Examples of the ADA and Technology in Law Enforcement

Slide 8 Notes – Examples of the ADA and Technology in Law Enforcement

Objective: The student will identify a minimum two ways that technology products can be accessible.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Technology is all around us. We use the internet on a daily basis for many things. Law enforcement has an obligation to make sure their websites and smart phone apps are accessible for all people. Persons who are blind or have low vision need to be able to use the website with their chosen assistive technology such as screen readers or enlarged text. Videos must have captions for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing. Graphics need to be described with text.

Some police departments have started a policy of video recording suspects to demonstrate the suspect understood their rights. If a person is using a sign language interpreter, the police must record the interpreter and the suspect.

Slide 9 – What Are Your Rights Under the ADA?

Slide 9 Notes – What Are Your Rights Under the ADA?

Objective: The student will understand that they have rights under the ADA when interacting with law enforcement.

Facilitator Talking Points:

As we have talked about, you have the same rights as people without disabilities when you are stopped by the police. This includes the police changing their normal procedure to make sure you are treated fairly. Let’s talk about some common situations that might come up.

  • An officer comes up to your car and notices that you have a “handicap” license plate or that you drive with a hand control. The officer should expect that you might reach for a walker, cane, or other mobility device before you get out of the car.
  • An officer thinks you might be drunk or using drugs. You have told the officer that you have a neurological impairment that causes you to seem drunk. The officer should test you with a breathalyzer. You probably cannot walk in a straight line and asking you to do so may lead to your wrongful arrest.
  • You are a person with low vision or are blind. The officer should read you any papers that he wants you to sign. The officer should also describe any procedures in advance to help you understand what is happening and what you are being asked to do.
  • You are a diabetic. There is a set food schedule for the jail. The schedule should be changed as needed for you to regulate your sugar levels.
  • You are deaf. The handcuffing procedure is to handcuff people behind their back. The officer should handcuff you in front to allow you to sign and write notes.
  • You take medication for your epilepsy, diabetes, or other condition. When you are jailed, your medicine should not be confiscated like it is when people without disabilities are arrested.
  • You are a person with an intellectual disability. An officer must still give you a Miranda warning (“You have the right to remain silent,” etc.). The officer should use simple language to explain your rights. The officer should also ask questions to make sure you understand – like asking if you know what a lawyer is. The officer may want to use pictures.

 

 

Post Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: From the Pre-Module activity, review the list of ways that law enforcement officers help and assist us as they protect and serve our communities.

Facilitator Script: “Are there things missing from our list? What would you like to add to our list to make it more complete? Can you think of any other ways we might communicate or interact with police officers that we did not think of at the beginning of this module?”

Facilitator Note: Use a different color or a similar technique to add the post-module responses from the group so that it is easy to see what has been added..”

 

 

SECTION 6: Learning Activities

For the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Learning activities have been designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation and/or videos. A menu of activities has been provided. You may choose one or more activities based upon the time that you have to present the material and upon the needs of the students. For each interactive activity Suggested time frames are included with each activity. Please keep in mind the age of your students, their individual skill levels, and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity #1 Group Discussion

Facilitator Note: Choose one or more videos that are appropriate for you group. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity 1A: “General Information about Text to 9-1-1”

Time: 10 or more minutes – video is 4 minutes 35 seconds
Video: General Information About Text-to-9-1-1 for the Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing, & Speech Disabled
Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlM3PBsqqvA
Facilitator Script
: Following the video, ask “What are the most important points we learned from this video?” (If you need prompts for your group, ask questions such as the following to make sure this general information is discussed.)

  • “How do you know if Text to 9-1-1 is available in your area?”
  • “If you do not have access to Text to 9-1-1, what else can you use?” (Be sure all options are named, including Voice, Relay, Captioned Telephone, and TTY.)
  • “If you are in danger and need to keep quiet and avoid unwanted attention, what do you need to do with your phone?” (Be sure all options are named, including turn off audio, vibration, and strobe lights in phone.)
  • “Do you know how to set your phone to silent mode?”

“Finally, after you have made contact with 9-1-1, be sure to stay with your phone and answer any questions from 9-1-1 as well as you can. Also, follow any instructions you are given from 9-1-1.”

Activity 1B: “How to Text 9-1-1”

Time: 10 or more minutes – video is 5 minutes 18 seconds
Video: How to Text 9-1-1 for the Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing, & Speech Disabled
Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j509tezozmY
Facilitator Script
: Following the video, ask questions similar to the following:

  • “What information will 9-1-1 need from you?”
  • “Do you know the address of your location?”
  • “If you do not know the street address, can you describe landmarks or buildings around you?”
  • “What type of help do you need?” (police, fire, medical)

“In addition, you will want to answer any questions from 9-1-1 and follow any instructions you are given.”

“Remember to use short and simple text messages.”

Activity 1C: “Important Facts about Text to 9-1-1”

Time: 10 or more minutes – video is 5 minutes 18 seconds
Video: Important Facts About Text-to-9-1-1 for the Deaf, Deafblind, Hard of Hearing, & Speech Disabled
Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD31BrwEDwE
Facilitator Script
: Following the video, during the group discussion, emphasize the following points:?

  • Use full words in your text message
  • Avoid abbreviations, slang or emojis
  • Only text 9-1-1; no group messages
  • If Text to 9-1-1 is not available, use Voice Relay, Captioned Telephone, or TTY

 

 

Activity #2 Create Your Own Disability Information Card

Activity 2A: Video: “The Wallet Card”

Time: 10 or more minutes – video is 10 minutes
Video: The Wallet Card Video
Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoWHmhOFloA
Facilitator Note
: The Wallet Card Video is a free tool that explains when and how to use the wallet card. It includes depictions of three different scenarios where the Wallet Card brings clarity to interactions between people with disabilities and law enforcement. Use this short video to illustrate the need for a similar card to explain disability information when communicating or interacting with police officers. Following the video, explain that the card in the video is available for purchase, but it only involves a few types of disabilities. Therefore, the group will have the opportunity in another activity to create their own Disability Information Cards.

Activity 2B: “Creating Disability Information Cards”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note (Materials):
Use large pieces of drawing paper and any art materials you like.

Facilitator Script: “In this activity, we are going to create our own individual Disability Information Cards. The purpose of this card is to help you communicate with a police officer. This may be difficult for you because of your disability. The information on your card will help the police officer to better understand you and your needs so that your communication and interaction will be less difficult for you.”

Facilitator Note: Pass out the simple form to collect information from each member of the group. If some members of the group will have difficulty in filling out the form, have the group work in pairs or small groups to assist each another.

 

 

Disability Information Cards Template

**NOTE: The template is also included as a separate file so that you may print individuals copies or copy/paste the document as many times as needed into a new file.

Item #ItemYour Information
1Name: 
2Disability: 
3Information You Want To Share: 
   
4Are You Non-Verbal? 
   
5Home Address

Street Name

 
6City, State, ZIP Code 
7Emergency Contact Name:  
8Emergency Contact
Phone Number:
 

 

Facilitator Script: “Now we want to go through the form item by item to make sure we all understand what each item means and what information about you will be helpful.”

“Item 1 is Name. Write or type your first and last name here.”

“Item 2 is Disability. Write down your disability here. It is your choice as to how you choose to identify yourself. Some examples may be Deaf, Deaf/blind, autistic, wheelchair user, etc.”

“Item 3 is very important. It says “Information.” You may list any information about your disability that you think it is important for a police officer to know about you. I will give you some examples of what other people with disabilities might say here:

  • When I am nervous, I freeze up and cannot speak.
  • I panic at loud noises.
  • Bright or strobing lights make me anxious.
  • I prefer to write things on a piece of paper.
  • I prefer to type notes on my cell phone.
  • I often need to have questions repeated.
  • I am easily confused by complex instructions.
  • I have difficulty reading instructions.
  • I struggle to remember events.
  • I need simple instructions.
  • I may not understand consequences.
  • I have difficulty organizing my thoughts.
  • I may pace at times.
  • I may flap my hands.
  • I may talk to myself.
  • I need extra time to respond.
  • If I am nervous, I get fidgety.
  • I need verbal information. Please do not use gestures.
  • I use American Sign Language.

“Thinking about your disability, what information do you think it would be important for you to put here?”

“Item 4 asks if you are non-verbal. If you do not voice for yourself, put “Yes” after this question. If you do voice for yourself, put “No” after this question. This will help a police officer to quickly know how to communicate with you.”

“Items 5 and 6 are for your home address. Put your street address on line 5. Put your City, State and Zip Code on line 6.

“Item 7 is Emergency Contact. Put the name of your emergency contact on line 7. This can be any person you choose. Make sure it is someone you trust to help you.”

“Item 8 asks for the phone number to reach your Emergency Contact person. Put the phone number of the emergency contact person here.”

“The information from this form will be used to make your own Disability Information Card. When the cards are ready, we will have another activity about How to Use Your Disability Information Card.”

Facilitator Note: Use the Disability Information Card Template to develop a card for each student. Once the information has been entered for each card, print the cards on heavy cardstock. To make these cards durable, laminate each card. After the pages are laminated, carefully cut out the cards and distribute the cards to the members of your group

Activity 2C: “How to Use Your Disability Information Card”

Time: 10 or more minutes
Facilitator Note
: After the individual Disability Information Cards have been created and given to the group, discuss how these cards can be used and answer any questions from the group.

Facilitator Script: ““Now that we have created our own Disability Information Cards, when do you think you might use this card? What might be happening when you will need to communicate and interact with a police officer?” (For example, a routine traffic stop, possible suspicious activity in the area, a witness to a car accident or to a crime, mistaken identity where you resemble a suspect; request from a police officer to see identification (ID card or drivers’ license), etc.)

“Now think about some points to keep in mind if you are going to show your Disability Information Card to a police officer. What should you keep in mind so that you will stay safe while showing the police officer your Disability Information Card?”

Points to keep in mind:

  1. Ask the officer if you can get out your Disability Information Card, along with any other requested identification and documents.
  2. Keep your hands in front of you and out in the open.
    1. Do not put your hands in your pockets unless you have explained what you are removing from a pocket.
    2. Do not put your hands behind your back while communicating with the police officer.
  3. Face the police officer during the time you are communicating and interacting.
  4. Answer all questions and follow all instructions from a police officer as well as you can.

“Now that we have talked about how to use your Disability Information Card, decide where you are going to keep your card so that it will be easy to find when you need to use it. You might want to keep it in your wallet along with your other identification that you may need to show at the same time.”

Activity #3 Art Project

Art Project

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If you have members of your group who will have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as youth who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

If your group is made up of students with varying levels of vision loss, consider having students with low vision work as partners or in small groups with students with total vision loss. Using materials such as magazines, advertising flyers, brochures, pamphlets, etc., have the students with low vision audio describe the pictures and words that the partners or small groups might decide to use in a collage or mural.

Activity 3A: “To Protect and Serve

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note (Materials):
Use large pieces of drawing paper and any art materials you like.

Facilitator Script: “Using any art materials and any size of paper, including large pieces of paper such as drawing paper, flip-chart pages, etc., have each member of your group create a picture of something a police officer might do to help or assist a person.

“The mission of law enforcement or police officers is to protect and serve. What are some ways you can think of that police officers help us or assist us and our families, neighborhoods and communities? Using these art materials, create a picture of a way that a police officer or officers might help or assist you. The way a police officer helps you might also be helpful to others in your family, neighborhood, or community. When I call “time,” we will get back together to share our pictures, and to share what law enforcement officers can do to help and assist us when we need them.”

Facilitator Note: If your group needs help in thinking of ways that police officers might help and assist them, consider a short discussion or have the group work in pairs or small groups so they can brainstorm ideas with one another. Also, if you have members of your group who will have difficulty creating an artwork by themselves, consider having the group work in pairs or small groups of 3 to 4 members, and each group can present their artwork to the larger group.

If the group needs prompts, consider providing examples such as:

  • asking for directions when you are in an unfamiliar area;
  • getting information on how to set up a Neighborhood Watch;
  • checking on crime statistics before renting an apartment in a new area;
  • reporting a break-in at your home;
  • giving information after witnessing a car accident; and/or
  • reporting suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

Activity #4 Dramatic Arts

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by dramatic arts, such as role plays, skits, improvisation, etc., you might use dramatic arts activities.

Activity 4A: “Face to Face in Blue”

Time: 10—15 minutes

Facilitator Note: Using partners or small groups, have each pair, or each small group, take one of the situations below which involve communicating and interacting with law enforcement officers. If the group is particularly good with improvisation and the time is limited, give each pair or small group a short period of time to brainstorm and then act out the improvisation in front of the larger group. If the group is more successful with skits and the time is available, give each pair or small group time to plan a skit and then act out the skit in front of the larger group. If the improvisation or skit needs more participants, have the pair or small group recruit others from the larger group. Following each dramatic arts performance, ask for feedback from the larger group about the good examples they identified of ways of communicating and interacting with police officers. Ask the group if they have any suggestions for things that might have been done differently to improve communications and interactions with law enforcement officers.

Dramatic Arts Situations:

  • You want to volunteer with your local police department.
  • You have witnessed a 3-car traffic accident.
  • You want to report possible suspicious activity on your block.
  • You have been pulled over in a traffic stop.
  • You have witnessed a mugging downtown while you were shopping.
  • A police officer is checking all ID at a transit stop.
  • You want to find out how to set up a Neighborhood Watch.
  • You want to find out about crime rate in an area before renting an apartment.
  • You return home to find your house has been broken into.
  • You are in an unfamiliar area and need to ask directions.
  • You are arrested because you resemble the suspect being sought for a nearby robbery.

Activity #5 Role Models

Facilitator Note: For young people with disabilities, it is very important to identify with role models who are people with disabilities living independently in the community. Sources for finding role models that may serve as guest speakers in class include:

Activity 5A: “And Now, A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5—15 minutes
Facilitator Note: Invite a police officer or a small panel of 2 to 4 police officers to speak briefly to your group about the ways they protect and serve the community. Allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the law enforcement officers.

Activity 5 B: Virtual Reality—”A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Facilitator Note: Using Zoom or a similar platform, invite a police officer or a small panel of 2 to 4 police officers to speak briefly to your group about the ways they protect and serve the community. Allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the law enforcement officers.

SECTION 7: Handouts or Materials Needed

  • Audiovisual equipment for PowerPoint presentation and/or videos.
  • Art materials, blank paper, colored pencils or markers, rubber ball, and a bottle of liquid bubbles (Activity 1).
  • Photocopies of PowerPoint slides, including alternate formats such as large print, Braille, and electronic formats, such as a USB drive for students with visual or print disabilities.

SECTION 8: After Class

Homework Possibilities

Contact a local police department with a Police Academy to learn more about the process for requesting accommodations to participate in the program.
Questions might include:

  1. How do I get assistance with completing the application?
  2. How do I request a sign language interpreter?
  3. How do I request materials in alternate format such as Braille or large print?

Write a one-page paper that identifies the person with whom you talked and a short description of the process. During the next class next session, present the information to the class.

Facilitator Note: We suggest contacting the local police department to make them aware of this activity. It is best to identify one person at the police department who would be willing to talk with the students.

Quiz Questions

Use these quiz questions to reinforce learning by giving this pop quiz at the end of class, as a homework assignment, or at the beginning of the next class session. Correct answers are noted with an asterisk (*).

  1. Law Enforcement Officers include Police Officers and Firefighters.
  • Yes
  • No*
  1. The ADA protects your rights during traffic stops or if you are arrested.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Government programs, buildings, websites, and communication must be accessible to people with disabilities under the ADA.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Jails are not required to be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Yes
  • No*
  1. Police stations must be accessible under the ADA.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Handcuffing a person who is deaf in front rather than in the back so that he/she can use sign language would be a change to the normal procedure that would be allowed under the ADA.
    1. Yes*
  • No
  1. Police officers may respond to real threats to health or safety, even if an individual’s actions are a result of a disability.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. People with a disability have the right to the same treatment as people without disabilities.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. If I am arrested, I have the right to communicate with the police in the way I choose.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. The use of a TASER is an example of the ADA and Technology.
  • Yes
  • No*

SECTION 9: Resources for Students

Additional Reading and Videos

Interacting with Law Enforcement

Interacting with Law Enforcement (PDF 7 pages)
Source: Disability Rights North Carolina
Link: disabilityrightsnc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Resource_Factsheet_Interacting_with_Law_Enforcement_2015.pdf

Driving While Deaf: How to Stay Safe
Source: AARP
Link: aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2016/deaf-driver-safety-police-kb.html

Marlee Matlin Video on Deaf and Police Interaction (ASL & Captions, 8:15 mins)
Source:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Link: aclu.org/video/marlee-matlin-deaf-and-police-interaction

Advancing Public Safety for Officers and Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) May 2019 | Volume 12 | Issue 4
Source: The Arc and the U.S. Department of Justice
Link: cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/05-2019/intel_disability.html

Effective Communication and Law Enforcement

Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/lawenfcomm.htm

Model Policy for Law Enforcement on Communicating with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | PDF 4 pages
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/lawenfmodpolicy.htm (HTML)
Link: archive.ada.gov/lawenfmodpolicy.pdf (PDF)

Effective Communication Fact Sheet
Available in English or Spanish as a web document (HTML) or as a printable PDF file.
Source: ADA National Network (ADANN)
Link: adata.org/factsheet/communication

21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) | PDF 2 pages
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Link: fcc.gov/consumers/guides/21st-century-communications-and-video-accessibility-act-cvaa
Link: fcc.gov/sites/default/files/21st_century_communications_and_video_accessibility_act_cvaa.pdf

Accessibility of Communications Information and Guides
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Link: fcc.gov/general/disabilities-issues-guides

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and the ADA
Source: National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
Link: nad.org/resources/technology/captioning-for-access/communication-access-realtime-translation

NAD Memo on Communication Access with Police and Law Enforcement (PDF 11 pages)
Source: National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
Link: nad.org/uploaded-documents/advocacy-letter-police.pdf

Service Animals

Service Animals Fact Sheet
Each fact sheet is available in English or Spanish as a web document (HTML) or as a printable PDF file.
Source: ADA National Network (ADANN)
Link: adata.org/factsheet/service-animals

Training Materials for Law Enforcement

Disability Awareness Training: A Train the Trainer Program for First Responders (PDF 26 pages)
Source: The Arc
Link: thearc.org/wp-content/uploads/forchapters/NCCJD%20webinar.pdf

10 Facts Law Enforcement Needs to Know (PDF 2 pages)
Source: The Arc
Link: thearc.org/wp-content/uploads/forchapters/NCCJDTipSheet_LE-FINAL.pdf

Accessible Facility Design Requirements

ADA/Section 504 Design Guide: Accessible Cells in Correction Facilities
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Link: archive.ada.gov/accessiblecells.htm

Designing Accessible Web Sites and Media

WebAIM
Source: Utah State University, Center for Persons with Disabilities
Link: webaim.org

WebAIM’s WCAG 2.0 Checklist for HTML Documents
Source: Utah State University, Center for Persons with Disabilities
Link: webaim.org/standards/wcag/checklist

Designing Accessible Web Forms
Source: American Foundation for the Blind
Link: afb.org/about-afb/what-we-do/afb-consulting/afb-accessibility-resources/accessible-forms

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) / The Media Access Group
Source: WGBH Boston
Link: wgbh.org/foundation/what-we-do/ncam

Americans with Disabilities Act Information Center

ADA National Network

Phone: 1-800-949-4232 (toll free)

Website: adata.org

Facebook: facebook.com/adanetwork

Twitter: twitter.com/ADANational

National Resources

Community Organizations

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