At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. If anyone should require operative assistance for the conference call, please press star then 0 on your touch tone telephone. As a reminder this conference call may be recorded. I would now like to turn this over to Mr. Peter Berg with the Great Lakes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center.
Alright, thank you very much Saeid and welcome to everyone. Happy new year as we are entering into our first ADA Audio Conference of the 2013 calendar year. The ADA audio conference series is a project of the ADA national network. The ADA national network is the premiere leader in providing information on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA national network is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and IDRR. So we wanted to welcome the folks - all of you that are joining us today by telephone through our webinar platform either using the audio streaming or using the captioning features in the webinar room. I just want to quickly go over a couple of items for those of you that are participating and joining us in the webinar room. To access the captioning feature within the webinar room, you can click on the captioning icon or use the key stroke function, control F8, and you can size the captioning window to meet your specific needs. To submit questions for those of you on the telephone, when we get to the question and answer portion of today''s session, we will bring Sayid back and he will give instructions on how you can ask questions. For those of you in the webinar room, you want to go to the participant list and you want to highlight the Great Lakes in the participant list and right click and you will see the ability to send a private message. That private message will be sent to all of the moderators and then we will get those questions to Michael when we get to that section. For those of you using assistive technology, a little different way to get there, use the function key 6, F6, and until you get to the participant list, once you get to the participant list, you want to use the arrow to arrow up and done that list again until you find the Great Lakes participant. Right click on Great Lakes and then you will see the ability to send a private message that will go to the presenters. You also have the -- for those of you again in the webinar room - you have the ability to access or to customize the view. You can detach any of the three panels by putting your cursor over the icon to the right of the panel and clicking. And that will allow you to move it and resize it to meet your specific needs. Materials are always made in advance and are downloadable from your account on the ADA-audio.org website. And for those of you in the webinar room you can follow along with today''s presentation. And at this point, we are going to get to our speaker, Michael J. Sullivan, who is an ADA consultant in law enforcement. You can find Michaels full bio on the www.ada-audio.org website to get more information about Michaels background. And with that, I would like to welcome Michael and turn the session over to him. So, welcome Michael.
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you all about this. What I would like to do is talk about the ADA and law enforcement and the issues but give you some sort of practical guidance of how it unfolded. I was a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. In the last 17 years of my career, I was the ADA coordinator. So, what I would like to do is give you some practical ideas of how this works and how law enforcement in general works. I am not going to speak a lot about corrections because that''s an entirely whole other topic. But a lot of these issues are the same in terms of training and recognition of people with disabilities and how to go about, as an ADA coordinator or someone interested in working with your law enforcement agency, how to go about actually getting some of these things into play and how to approach that. And also talk about some of the issues that are very important when training police officers. I say police officers, deputy sheriffs, correctional staff, any law enforcement. So what I would like to do is just kind of begin with some basic overview of people with disabilities and kind of set some -- set the stage and context of how they come to the attention of people in law enforcement. And just what some of those issues are, in particular, accommodations that may occur along the way. And really want to focus on some training and issues that are unique to law enforcement that will help you understand how to go about conducting some training. So the next slide is, Where does it all start? As you all know - this should not be a surprise to anyone - this is the basic basic. Individuals with dis - cut off - We know a lot about access. I mean thinking just basic of can you get into your local police station, your local sheriff''s department to make a police report or an incident report or ask questions. Just some simple simple things and this applies across the board to all aspects of law enforcement, and jails, prisons, court holding facilities, district police stations, sheriff substations. Any facility where the law enforcement is located, this applies. As you all now say, I am not preaching to the choir a little bit here. And the next slide, I think this is my general philosophy about all of this. One of the things about law enforcement is we enforce laws. We enforce things so this is concept of enforcement. So if we don''t enforce it, we comply and when we comply we are accessible and useable to and useable by people with disabilities. That idea of getting law enforcement to understand, there is no actual codebook to open up here and see what you are supposed to do. We all know about the regulations and Title II. But it is a great idea to get that clearly across because I will talk a little bit about this later and how law enforcement gets called on to sometimes settle disputes. You have all seen in the newspaper and Youtube and Television (TV) all the time about people with service animals being turned away and the police arriving to intervene in the dispute and not necessarily knowing what to do. And it is not a failure on the part of the agency, it is a - if they have never been trained or if there is no policy on how to handle those types of calls. There is -- this is also understanding how people with disabilities come to the attention of law enforcement and how they are going to meet them. And why it is important to understand about compliance and having policies in place and I will mention - talk a little bit about some kinds of policies. The next slide, Specific Impacts On Law Enforcement, it is everything. Stations I mentioned earlier, community rooms, a lot of agencies - particularly in - could use a lot of the community policing model - will have community rooms specifically that are opened up to allow any members of the community to hold meeting and also to hold meetings that are put on by law enforcement agencies. So that idea of physical access, you know, is there accessible parking? Is there essential path of travel? Are the - is the entry accessible, no thresholds no steps? Is there another entry to be used to get in? Is it properly signed to get into it? At San Francisco at one point, we had small kitchens, little kitchenettes that were allowed for the community to use. They were closed at one point and then re-opened so we had to go back in a number of them and make them actually accessible and retro fit them. So those kinds of things, you know assistive listening devices and things, you know, we talk about permits, license, policy modifications. A lot of law enforcement agencies issue permits, and this goes kind of hand in hand with event planning festivals. What one of the things that happens with police officers that will be at a festival that has been permitted by your local city, county, township, whatever. And as - now with food venders and other things, things were made accessible, clear path of travel along sidewalks, no mystery cables laid across or cable that have covering, or when a vender gets there and starts stacking up things, blocking the path of travel. One of the things that happens is that everyone turns to the police officer or sheriff that is standing around and providing security and asks them what to do and to fix it. So one of the things to consider in allowing for the permit is each of these parties involved in the festival under Title III all need to be accessible. So having the vender who is responsible for the overall - the festival coordinator, provide a simple little 3 by 5 card with contact information so that, for example, the electrical cables that are running across the sidewalk are now missing the, or never got on there, the cover. Then that covers the cables that allow people using chairs to go across them. There is someone that officer can call on the scene at that moment to get and fix it. So it is a simple thing. It is not something that we are going to enforce because law enforcement is not there to enforce that. But again having that option, having that information. Emergency planning I don''t think I need to speak about that. That''s just absolutely critical. There is, you know, a lot going on about emergency planning and absolutely including people with disabilities in that planning so they understand it. And operational calls for service, all those things that every law enforcement agency does from the time the phone rings at 911 and the 911 dispatcher knows an accessible direct connection to people using deaf, hard of hearing, all the way and providing that information to the officers arriving on the scene to the follow-up investigations and the interviews, to meeting with people and proceeding through that entire case start to finish. Next slide...Can they hit the next slide? Hello. PETER : They are advancing the slides in the webinar room Michael.
Ok, Im having a little trouble with the connection, sorry. So the -- this is just a few kind of cherry picked cases and settlement agreements. There are a lot on there. One thing that is great is if you went to ADA.gov and looked at the settlement agreements in part..., particularly if you are an ADA coordinator that has responsibility with law enforcement agencies and kind of look - look -- take a look at the settlement agreements and what''s being written in those and see -- probably pick with law enforcement agencies, whether it is physical access or providing procedures and policies and training around deaf and hard of hearing but it will give you a good idea. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Yeskey is the big case that made it all happen. It is the case that showed Yeskey, if you do not know, who is an inmate who had a heart condition. Prior to participating in a program, he said no. It would basically - the long and short end of that case was, Title II does apply and to everything. And that is where you need to be cognizant of. Barnes versus Gorman was an interesting case. It started out as a gentleman in the wheelchair who was at a bar, got unruly, was transported. During the transportation, inappropriate transport was done, there were no tie downs I believe, and he fell out of his chair and injured. Again, well talk a little bit about transportation policies later but that''s another case of Title II. And just an example of a couple of things here: New York City Police Department in 2009 signed a settlement agreement to do training around deaf and hard-of-hearing and sign language interpreters and making modification to their policies and procedures to allow for that. You can look at that settlement agreement online at ADA.gov. You can kind of pick out where those things are going. Alameda county Sherriffs department here in California, encourageable setting, put out visitation, use of TTY, deaf inmates, and these things are all in play at the different levels of law enforcement, you know, from state prisons to county jails to local law enforcement. and the Portland police bureau which is in the process of completing a settlement agreement with the Justice Department, now this was not filed as an Americans with Disabilities case tag, it was filed under another provision in law enforcement by the Justice Department. But I would really recommend reading the settlement agreement here - It is online - about this case in particular because it talks about training around mental illness and crisis intervention teams and setting them up and how they are going to work, how the training is going to occur, and there was a long history there. But it is a very good synopsis of working with people with mental illness in law enforcement and crisis intervention teams, which originally started in Memphis, Tennessee and theres professionally trained police officers, sheriffs, deputies who respond to calls involving a person with mental illness and working through that call with them. And they have a level of expertise. So thats - those - those are sort of a highlight in setting this up, I think there is something that everyone can take a look at and get a basic idea. Next slide, so every year the Bureau of Justice statistics put out a report entitled: Crime Against A Person with Disabilities and what they do is look at -- the definitions of disability are different from the study. So, but just in general, what they are doing is taking a look and comparing people with disabilities as victim of violent crime, violent victimization, as it is called in the report, to people without disabilities. And a couple of things in the 2009 - 2011 report talked about the people with disabilities have twice the rate of victimization of serious, violent crime. Their rates are higher, females are higher, people with cognitive disabilities have the highest rate among people with disabilities. So, it is important when you are looking at these statistics to realize that people with disabilities tend to be invisible and then become victims of crime. So it is important that the law enforcement understands how people with disabilities - what the disability may have an effect. It may have an effect on their ability to be interviewed, may have their affect on when they can be interviewed. So, with some basic information, here is this idea that people with disabilities, according to statistics, have a higher rate of victimization. Next slide, this is just working backwards here to the 2008 - 2010 report and what''s interesting here is that it still talks about having higher rates of victim of violence -- a victim of violent crime. So one of - you know, victims of assault and things like that. So one of the things here that is very striking to me about this is that about 9 percent of persons with disabilities use victim services agencies other than the police to report. There was an earlier report, I believe it was a 2007 study, and one of the things there in the 2007 study showed, a percentage of these cases were not being reported by the police -- to the police or followed up on. So there is a lot of reasons for that but who knows. But when you look at the statistics and realize that people with disabilities are victims of crime, the idea about making law enforcement accessible is even bigger, because you realize now that people with disabilities have to have the ability to make these reports. Whether it is a police officer or sheriff''s deputy coming to them and the proper follow-up and the prosecution of the case, and along the way, that entire system understands how it works for a person with a disability. And understanding what that disability may impact on their ability to participate in the case and other strategies to work around that, to make sure the case does get followed up. The next slide, this was a study responding to victims crime with disabilities. This was a study that was done by Portland State University. Did a job -- excellent study a few years back. But what they did is they talked to people with disabilities and talked to people in law enforcement. I helped participate in the focus groups of law enforcement. One of the things they found that people with disabilities - and this is reported in the study as barriers to reporting abuse, it was interesting - as - well we will go through these here in a little bit. What is interesting is if you think about these, these become accessible solutions whether they are attitudinal solutions, whether they are physical solutions or training solutions. But these are people with disabilities who are afraid to report or didn''t report or didn''t know what to do. So again, putting that information and I mentioned earlier about community policing, it is important in community policing to get out to the community, the stakeholders of people there. We are counting on the law enforcement agencies to have this information. To understand who people with disabilities are. The cultural attitudes, it was mentioned earlier, they are invisible, they are marginalized. People with disabilities are on the outside. They may be embarrassed because they allowed this to happen to them. The fear of not being believed is huge. It is a fear because of their disability, but they have no credibility and again, that''s a huge training issue. Emergency support providers are not available. This has happened too or sometimes it may be the caregiver may be the suspect. That they have to remove the caregiver -- arrest the caregiver for abuse and the person with the disability is so reliant on that caregiver and there is no emergency, so you remove, you know, the caregiver and suddenly the person has no body to fall back on. So it is the idea of having an emergency response that law enforcement can call on and the care giver can come in and supplement and intervene while a more permanent solution is found. So people with disabilities may not report for that reason. Excuse me. There are -- we mentioned lack of accessible resources and this goes - the last one, you want to jump to the know -- don''t know who to call. It goes back to that 9 percent of getting out -- law enforcement getting out to the community, non-profit service providers and letting them know, for example, I had a case where the person who was deaf had their backpack stolen off their back, ran up behind them, grabbed the backpack, knocked him down. By the time he got up and looked around the suspect was long gone. He went to a local non-profit, reported that, did all the standard stuff, called the bank, credit cards, did all the close out. Was never reported to the police. About six months later, he is checking his bank accounts and starting to realize he had become a victim of identity theft and this idea of -- that it was great, the non-profits, wonderful. He was able to go there and get those things shut down but the lack of follow through with the police and making a police report creates a problem where the identity theft gets going, he had to come back and make a report, as most people require this for, you know, reporting things stolen or whatever. But there is also that lost time for law enforcement and not having that case right away. So again this was not a problem of anyone doing or not doing is that nobody really -- the non-profit folks never really thought about it as being a crime. This is also issues of landlord tenant or coming across domestic violence and realizing it and understanding they can report that to the police and provide for accommodations along the way. Next slide. This is just further continuation of the information about barriers. You mentioned it into passing there about systems where the legal medical system isn''t necessarily trained or they don''t have policies, domestic violence cases, making sure that people with disabilities have access, the lack of coordinator response. This is that idea where you have maybe adult protective services and the police and sheriff''s department doing something and maybe a couple of other social service agencies or other in coordinating their activities and making sure that everyone is working on the same page and also accommodations to be done if those accommodations carry through. For example, obviously someone needs a sign language interpreter. That every step along the way there is a qualified interpreter who is provided so that they can access the system. Other fears, fear of losing their independence, fear of losing their -- custody of their children. Those are strong fears. There is a lot of states still that -- there was a study recently done that show a lot of states still look at the disability in relation to having, you know, custody of children and children I think. So those are all issues that are helpful to understand for law enforcement. So that when they are at someone''s home with a disability, that they understand that there is a lot of background issues and hesitancy. We talked about abusive - We talked about an abusive caregiver but this also could be a family member and again if that''s your support system there is huge reticence to report. It is that idea to domestic violence, that circle of violence, the power of position. It is a similar type situation there. So fear of backlash, consequences of calling the police that something is going to happen to them. If it is a fear, there may be no basis in reality but again, getting that information out to people with disabilities or the non-profit service providers that are working with people with disabilities, so that they can get that information out also. And also the fear of isolation is just not wanting to report because something is going to happen again. So when you think about it, there is attitudes on the part of -- not attitudes but really fears on the part of people with disabilities based on the study that are an encumbrance or a hindrance to them contacting law enforcement. So again, that is the idea of law enforcement getting the message out and going out and letting people know what the real story is. The next slide, what are program services and activities in law enforcement agencies, what does that mean? Do they even have them? You know, we all make arrests and we write police reports and incident reports. There is more to it. Just off the few of them that I picked out here that may or may not be in your jurisdiction but just some ideas of things: Citizens Academies, Ride Alongs, someone rides with a law enforcement agency to see what goes on. Those are not so popular. There is a new thing that I just saw a couple weeks ago, an article called Tweetalongs, where a law enforcement agency was Tweeting the activity of their officers over the course of an evening. D.A.R.E. programs, the drug programs, accessible materials, are they being offered to children with disabilities that are -- you know - there was -- there is a school in San Francisco, it is a deaf school. Children who are deaf go there and are integrated but again coming out and doing these programs. Are they providing, you know, sign language interpreters in alternate format and materials, the same mistakes, safety awareness, McGruff the crime dog pamphlets. There is a lot of, you know, D.A.R.E.s where they scare and S.A.F.E will show up and set up a booth and have information and neighborhood watch and those kinds of things. Again, are those materials accessible to people in alternate format. Jail visitation, do visitors have access? If theres telephones, counter heights, you know, the telephones are audio. All those kinds of things go in to play and on the flipside of it, for the inmates to allow. Do they have visitation by family members with disabilities or if the inmate has a disability is the visitation area accessible? Tip lines, you know we receive anonymous tip lines. How are they handled? Is there a separate TTY line? Do the people answering the line know what a relay call is? Are they aware of what that means, how to take it? Traffic schools in an educational setting, Witness - Victim Witness Programs to ensure that people follow up, that they have access to accessible features. Fingerprinting, log computerized fingerprinting, but because of mobility impairments may require the old-fashioned way of rolling fingerprints. There is an oldan inclination again - this Tweetalongs kind of ties in with web-based police reports and web-based newsletters. Are they accessible on the web platform? Next slide and this is something that I think is really important to understand what training law enforcement awareness versus sensitivity. I am sensitive and I feel bad. Can I go now? A lot of training we are all familiar with it. We have people put on gloves and try to pick things up to simulate mobility impairments. You know, Vaseline on the glasses to simulate low vision. You know, have someone sit and use a chair and roll over the doorway and find that the threshold is a half inch and you can''t get over and the person who is trying it, goes wow that''s bad and stands up and gets out of the chair and turns around and rolls it over to the next person. Contrast that a little bit with specifically about law enforcement. There is nothing wrong with that but there is this layer of law enforcement where it is behavior based. So one of the things that we talk about here is this idea that the medical model versus the people model. One of the things that happens a lot with disability is people think medically. You know, you have an intellectual disability. You have a mobility impairment. You are paralyzed. You are missing a limb. So this is sort of medical model kicks in and one of the problems with that is, if you are thinking along the lines of the medical model, you begin to diagnose. So when you are diagnosing - so for example, let''s say cerebral palsy. So, you look at that and you say, Oh this person has cerebral palsy and what I read about cerebral palsy is they are supposed to be this way, and that you have that expectation that that''s the way it is going to be. Like I said, you know that autism. Not everyone is the Rain Man. In fact, the Rain Man is someone that law enforcement would come across as probably someone who is a missing person. So if you focus on the behavior which is what police do, police officers, sheriff''s, deputies, whoever is in law enforcement comes in, looks, and has their own checklist. You come in, you get a call, you arrive. You don''t actually know what is going on. So the first thing you do is you size the people up in the room. So you think it is the good guy, the bad guy, the suspect witness, the not sure. Are they on drugs, not on drugs, are they focused, do they have weapons and all the rest of that. And that all literally occurs in a thousandth of a second. And that whole presence where law enforcement stands there and they are stand offish, they are trying to figure out what is going on. So when they see that behavior and it is not clicking for them, it is not checking their boxers, it is not sure where it is. The key thing here is to get across that maybe the reason that behavior is not what you think it is, is that maybe is the result of a disability. It might be the disability, really the behavior that you are seeing that does not fit. So the training that goes on, a lot of training like sensitivity or interacting with people with disabilities or disability etiquette, you have to layer in how police -- people come to the police or law enforcement''s attention. So it is not like say, going to the counter at the local department of public works to get your plan check and you are working through it and you do all the accommodations. What happens with police, police and sheriff''s law enforcement, we are trying to figure out what''s going on here. And I need to know exactly what I am looking at here and how it may affect what I am about to do. So, and again, there is this officer safety component which I am going to talk about in more detail that everything is done from that standpoint. So you have to understand that - that - theres that reticent that everybody sees on the part of law enforcement is actually calculated on their part. So as an ADA coordinator, as we kind of progress here, if you keep this in the back of your mind, my basic tenant was this and providing information to law enforcement and having policies and procedures in place. If you - if you - this - if you kind of throw this question out to yourself and think, Okay, its 3 o''clock in the morning. It is Saturday. It is Christmas Eve, Saturday night. You have an officer, deputy sheriff never, in the busiest intersection of your city, your town and has a person with a fill in the blank disability who needs a fill in the blank accommodation. Can that law enforcement member get that? And if the answer to that is yes, you have good policy. You have good procedures. If the answer to that is I don''t know, hopefully at the end of this you will have some idea where to get started. Next slide. This slide is Considerations for Law Enforcement. Officer safety, it is why we do the things we do. That is what I was just talking about, that whole presence - that whole stand offishness. It is not being rude. It is really sitting back and waiting to see what is going on. You know, everything is based on safety. How do you approach someone? Where do you stand? Why do you move the way you move? How do you approach buildings? Why do you make people talk to you? It is all about observations and anticipating problems and trying to stay away from those problems. For example there, evaluating behaviors. I was told the story, and it is a real good example of, we are training and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. So in honor of Joe Friday the names are changed to protect the innocent and there was a couple who was at a dinner -- and this was told to me by the male partner here. So it is a man and woman at a table at a local restaurant. Both deaf, both signing, having a very animated conversation. Noticed -- he noticed that there were two police officers. One that was facing him kept looking over their way and he kept animating and looking and animating. His wife was very animated and they were having a wonderful time. And the officer kept looking over and his partner began to turn around and look. So the gentleman who was sitting there was getting little worried as to why they were looking at him. Finally a few minutes an officer walks over and apparently one of the people there just had limited hearing but could still hear; was hearable. And the officer asked if everything was okay and they said yes, of course. And over the course of their discussion, education went on. The officer, being a police officer, observed this animated -- what looked like to be an argument to him. Went over because he was concerned that there may be an argument, it might be a domestic violence case in the making, it might be something that already occurred. He was not sure. That is what police do. If you don''t know you go find out. The good news was, once it was explained to him, he completely understood and realized what he had observed was just two people having a regular conversation using American Sign Language. But he had a little bit of training and knew that. But the idea was, the person - the deaf gentleman said to him, why did he come over and I explained it to him. And he said, I never thought about that - that someone could interpret that animated, normal conversation with ASL, as potentially a problem. So that''s that idea that again also in educating the community and what the police do. That that is why police do what they do. And I am going to make it easier for myself here and just say police and I mean everyone. Next slide, you know, as you are thinking about training, you have existing tactics. Take those existing tactics and training and modify them to people with disabilities. And Ill get to that in just a second here. There is no point -- boilerplate to this. It is all fluid. Every person is unique. Every person with a disability is unique in their own disability. So it is good to discuss disability and the kinds of behaviors you might see but really reinforce that idea. You know, I mentioned the Rain Man early on. You all know that Autism spectrum is just that, it is a spectrum. And I will talk a bit -- a little bit about some of those - some of the issues related specifically to the examples of specific disabilities. Earlier we were talking about etiquette training, sensitivity training in that the safety zone about reach ranges and false sense of security. One of the things that is important in training and law enforcement as I mentioned is officer safety. Do you ever watch law enforcement officers? How they stand when they are talking to someone. It is different. They move differently. They act differently. There is a reason for that. They are staying out of the range of a punch. They are staying out of the range of a kick. You have some distance between you and that person and there is increased time for that person to come at you or attack you. So that''s all calculated. That is all called th -- you know, this safety zone. This is the reach range. So people have mobility devices, for example. It is important to let officers know what mobility devices are and what they do. People with walkers used for other reasons, crutches are used for other reasons and canes are used for other reasons. But there will come a time where someone may have to be searched or approached and asked to be - Im sorry -- patted down. A full safety search, a cursory search, letting officers understand that that safety zone that they have created, which is, if you think about it, arms and legs, is increased by the length of whatever that device is. So letting officers know, first of all, if you are going to search someone, sometimes it is very helpful to communicate to the person, I need to just give you a little quick search here, could you put your cane down? And they say, No, I really need it to stand. I really need it for balance. Its not something I can really do right now. Then you might just ask them, Well could you sit down, could you hand me the cane, could you do something else? It is an idea of giving them some idea of plan B, plan C, and plan D. But the idea that these devices serve a purpose for the person with a disability can come up with some way of working around it. So I give you there, a real concrete example, here on the next slide. I have a slight here -- and I have to apologize, I am having computer problems. I am not sure it is up yet. But what youre look -- when it comes up here, it is a diagram from an overhead view of a person using a chair. And it has a red zone in the front and the back. It is kind of a bad place to be standing. So if you think about modifying training and looking what existing tactics is, how do you approach someone in a wheelchair and provide the safety and at the same time thinking about etiquette or sensitivity? And the idea that someone in a chair is looking up all day and their neck is up--- how do you accomplish that? Now I have seen videos for law enforcement where the officer pulls the chair up and sits directly in front of a person in a wheelchair. Well the problem with that is if you are going to train law enforcement officers -- if you show anything that compromises officer safety, you will lose them. They will stop listening to you. Safety is a huge huge thing. I can''t entrust that enough. I see its here. So if you think about this, and you have probably seen enough police shows on TV, if you think about what a wheelchair is, it is a mobility device. It is mobile, it has four wheels. So it must be a similar type of thing officers are familiar with as a traffic stop. How do you approach a car? How do you accomplish searching someone in a wheelchair while at the same time maintaining safety? So what you do is you approach from the side. You learn about how to search someone when they are standing and how to do a cursory search. And whether its, you know, you divide the body into quadrants and search quadrants. You can do the same thing. Can someone come out of the chair? Sometimes people cannot, depending on their disability. You can ask them - you can have them potentially shift in their chair and reach underneath. Train the officers to be aware of medical devices whether it is air bags, catheters, pumps, other things can do that and move around. The etiquette part about not, you know, handing or leaning on someone''s chair, well one of the things is to actually be -- have a light touch or hold one of the handles so that you can tell the grip-- feel the - tell the grip movement. Have them turn the power off the chair. Put the power chair - have them -- put the brakes on. Same idea and if you are -- want to maintain etiquette but you don''t want to sit down, you can accomplish two things here by taking several steps back, which as I mentioned before about the space between you and the injury, your potential attack. Take a few steps back. That also allows the person to drop their hair and drop their eyes - Im sorry, drop their head, have that eye to eye contact. Now if things have settled down and everything is good and you want to sit on a chair, fine. But that initial contact, until an officer is sure that it is safe to proceed, back off. Do that. And work your way backwards but again, being aware of training, how do I accomplish the search? How do I accomplish the approach? That''s the law enforcement side and the etiquette or sensitivity side is, How do I accomplish letting this person drop their head, have eye to eye contact? Well I can do that by taking several steps back or as things settle down and I am confident that things are good, if I want to, I can sit in a chair. But again it is that idea of safety. The next slide, a few things about officer safety continue on that theme a little bit here. Training officers to understand about handcuffing, you know the range of motion. You know, you may need to use an extra set of cuffs, maybe to do flex cuffs instead of the steel cuffs. You may have to handcuff somebody - one, two separate -- handcuffing someone in a wheelchair. We had ADAPT came into town in 2001 and had four days of demonstrations about living on a hospital. Trained the officers about how to make the approach, understanding disabilities. Also at the time, arrests came up. People needed to be handcuffed to be aware of range of motion, joint laxity, tightness. If there is some tightness, it might not be that they are resisting handcuffing you, it may very well be that they reached the limit of their motion. So a very simple thing is to ask, Can you move your arms? Let me know. Simple things like that where resistance may not be resistance. It may be the actual disability. The next slide, considerations for booking here. Booking is interesting - it is: bring the body in and you are going to arrest the person who is under arrest and they come to the jail and they are getting processed. What about wheelchairs, what about service animals, what about crutches, canes, walkers, those things. Do you - are your housing issues. Is it a correctional issue? You know in housing you don''t just put someone with a disability in a medical unit because you have nowhere else to put them. The right to phone calls, you have a TTY. These calls are moni -- can be monitored in a correctional setting. Something to think about. Transportation issues, we talked about the Gorman case earlier. This is an issue that you are going to do transports, that you have an appropriate vehicle. Now the person can transfer from their chair, for example, in to the back of the car that''s great but you also need to recognize the officers as I mentioned earlier about handcuffing. Do they know they are going to have to take the cuffs off. I am not a big proponent of lifting people. That can cause injuries to the law enforcement officer and to the person with a disability but if you are going to go that route, train to learn how to lift. So that''s something to think about. Also there is the issue of weapons and being able to grab them. Whether it is pepper spray or a taser or there is an actual firearm, that that''s something about lifting people and guiding people that they have to be aware of. So the transportation issues, Do you have the appropriate vehicle, the appropriate tie downs? Can the person transfer on their own? And what is your -- how are you going to handle - if say that someone in a power chair that gets transported by ambulance to the emergency room because of an accident. The emergency crew is going to take them off their chair, put them on a gurney so they can work on them. How did that chair get out there? Who is taking that chair? That has to follow the body. So that''s something sounds very simple. But again 3 o''clock in the morning, Christmas Eve, the ambulance rolls away and the police are there at the accident, and they are doing all they are doing with the traffic accident, pulling an investigation, and where is the chair going to go? Who is responsible for the chair? How are you going to get it out and reunite it with that person? Care givers, personal attendant, may or may not be involved. Again I mentioned earlier that if they are the perpetrator, how is a person with a disability going to be cared for if they are reliant on 24/7 care or evening care, however that may be. Service animals as I mentioned, you know, does the animal go with them, probably not. Allowing duplicate time to make some phone calls to get somebody to take care of the animal, it could wind up giving the animal to care and control through the local shelter. That they are well aware it is a service animal and that someone will be picking it up or that person will get to it. That it is different than -- and needs to be treated differently and doesn''t get considered abandoned on the way out the door and the person come in and claim their animal and it is gone. Next slide. More considerations for law enforcement. I talked about disability specific issues. I mentioned cerebral palsy, one of the big things in training about cerebral palsy volunteers, is you almost always hear someone with CP gets confused with being intoxicated. And I would say now, be careful you don''t arrest someone, assuming that they are drunk and they have cerebral palsy. But my question always is, well how do you know someone who has cerebral palsy who had a beer and has an alcoholic breathe is not drunk? And what I always say is this, if you -- every law enforcement officer in the world knows what a drunk is. Anyone who is not in law enforcement that has talked to a drunk for more than four seconds knows how a drunk talks. If you think about someone with CP and you think about the conversation you are having with them -- and again, this goes back to behavior, not medical model. They are looking at you. They are responding to you. They are in interacting with you. Their movements are not deliberate if you are asking for a driver''s license or some form of I.D. or a piece of paper. Their movements will be deliberate in how they obtain the driver''s license out of their wallet or whatever. So, what a drunk cannot do that. The drunk will drop their I.D., will fumble with things. The idea that you are looking at the behavior and that behavior is deliberate. Simple question. Can a blind person be a witness? Yes. If you think about it. But you need to train. People have stereotypes and assumptions. I will give you an example: a blind person walks down the street three blocks from their home every morning at 7 o''clock to get on the bus at the intersection a few blocks away to go to work. They follow their same path. The path they know their way finding. They know where the fire hydrant is, they know where the corner is, they know where the corner store is, where the coffee shop is, and move along to where their bus stop is. Well one day they are walking along and somebody grabs their wallet, purse, laptop, whatever it is, takes off running. So the first thing you are going to think is what did you see? Which is the normal question. Well, what they see is an interruption in their route. So if there is no crime scene contamination issues think they are going to get a statement from the person. Have them walk you, the path and as you are walking the path you are going to identify the buildings go by, which may provide for witnesses, may provide for a camera. Or it may provide, depending on where you are, that you walk by maybe the local flop house where parolees wait before they move on and find out that as they approached this doorway, they heard a door open and someone came out because they felt them come out and that''s what they felt their pack being grabbed and took off and the person said something to them. Well what did they say or what did they look like? There may be smells. There may be the fact that the person said something and the sound of their voice was right by their head, which would give you an indicator of height. So it is that idea that: don''t be confronted with, Oh, a person is blind. I can''t be creative. Slow down interviews it is going to take more time. Autism is a big issue. You know, one of the things of signs of abuse when you go to a house, it may be doors are locked on the wrong side to keep the person - the child from wandering away. You know, depending on the behavior of the child, there may be a loud TV on that you are going to turn down because you are trying to hear and you realize that when you turn it down, the child acts up, and the parent, Could you please turn the TV on because that helps them? This idea about, you know, coming in and seeing the child injured a little baby because of self-stimulating behavior, that maybe they are rubbing. Those are things you don''t assume immediately that there is an abusive parent. But again, still evaluate what you see in terms of behaviors that might be connecting with autism and behaviors that may indicate someone -- or injury that may indicate an abuse. That idea of touching always comes up. You hear a lot of don''t touch someone with autism. They don''t like to be touched. Well a problem for law enforcement and for other first responders, including fire, ambulance crews, is that sometimes we do have to touch. And when that may set the child off and they react but again it is that idea of, as I mentioned earlier, about handcuffing. Same idea here. If you train and people -- officers understand about autism and touching, that they understand then that when you touch them you may get a flight or fight response, you may get a reaction. The child may lash or fight back or do something but trying to avoid the touch. Understanding that means you understand that they are not fighting you, they are not resisting. This is a behavior related with a disability or symptom, whatever you like to call it, and that way they know. Intellectual disabilities, you know, interviewing people whom they are victimized by others. I had an ADA coordinator call me from another town. That drug dealers were having children with intellectual disabilities, teenagers, delivering drugs for them. They figured that if they got caught, nothing would happen. So those kinds of things and that need to please all those things go in to play. And that when you are interviewing someone who may have been a witness to an accident, have them stand where they saw it, have them tell you the story and let it flow. You know, not ask these open-ended questions and make it more of a narrative. And the biggest thing here, the huge, huge thing is just listening and letting people tell their stories, slowing it down, understanding that it may - this is going to take a little bit longer. I would like to spend a - next slide -- a little time here on deaf and hard of hearing issues and reviewing working with sign language interpreters in a law enforcement setting. As you all know that sign language is part of effective communication, and one of that is American Sign Language interpreter for someone who requires sign language as a means of communication. You know, whether you need to get the sign language interpreter is again, if you point back to the settlement agreements, it will give you some idea there. But it is the time and the complexity and nature context of the interaction. Writing a traffic ticket you can do notes, plenty of information there. What I always train is this: as you are building your case, as you are doing your interviews, as you are figuring out who is who. You know, who is the good guy, who is the bad guy, who is the aggressor, who is not the aggressor. You know, in order to make that case, because again, ultimately you are looking at getting a prosecution. So if you have victim who uses American Sign Language you want to pay attention to getting - Im sorry -- in my view getting as early as possible in getting accurate information. Making sure that they are qualified interpreters, making sure that they understand, you know, in order how to sign and interpret. We required medical legal qualification. Fortunately the organization we use have them on, which is great because if there is a sexual assault, it is very helpful to have some sign language interpreters with a medical background to work through that. Understanding that having law enforcement members who "know sign." They are not qualified to interpret, it is the same -- same problem that gets created when you have someone who speaks Spanish that''s not really fluent and then you make your case and then you find out when you get to court that the information is bad because it was mistinterpreted or mistranslated. That idea of qualified interpreters because ultimately as law enforcement, we are preparing a case to go to court and we want it to stick. The Next slide. Nothing really new. Primary consideration to the individual but I want to stress a little bit here about the use of family members in a disability -- I am sorry, family members being requested. In the new regulations it talks - there is some discussion about family member and adult requesting another person. Again, this is the unique part about training and law enforcement. Take a domestic violence case. You arrive on the scene, there is an aggressor, there is a victim, there may be a child there, another family member who signs. Not a problem saying to them in that initial exigent emergency time, What''s going on here and who is hurt? That way you figure out, you know, is there someone hurt in the back? Is someone bleeding? What''s the nature of the injury? But then as that moves on, you are probably, if you cannot use notes, you know screen, you know whatever you are going to do on a computer and communicate. You are going to need to get that sign language interpreter there because you are going to communicate. The other side of the coin is, unless you are fluent in ASL yourself, you have no idea what you are being told. Just like I do not speak Spanish. So when I have someone come in I am relaying on it - that they are telling me what is actually being said. So that idea once everything is settled down, locked down, injuries are being taken care of, the scene is under control, I would get a sign language interpreter in there to work along with you in developing the case. The next slide a little bit more - you know, the use of notes is great. Use those notes. There may be issues of them becoming evidence. They are part of your notebook. Those are law enforcement specific issues but also something that comes up in work that I did, name signs. People, in the community that I worked with, knew people only by their name signs. So it is important that someone that you train your officers - that someone may give you a name sign and what that means and how do you go find out about that. There may be other -- people mention the non-profits earlier -- may be able to identify somebody by their name sign. One thing that surprised me when I did community outreach that just also bummed me out a lot, was that people who are deaf -- went through the police and it made perfectly good sense. That they were afraid they were going to be shot because they didn''t hear. That they are going to, you know, try to pull out an I.D. or the name to want to communicate and talk to the officer immediately. So that is why in training the police officers that again, the behaviors if someone is not responding, not hearing, it might be because they are deaf. It might be because they are hard of hearing. It also might be just because they don''t want to listen to you. So watch the behavior. Maybe flash the light in their eye. Get their attention that way. But that idea of understanding you have to get their attention and that they are afraid of the police. That just really shocked me. So we did community outreach. That is huge. Get out there, talk to the deaf community. Tell them what police practices are. Tell them what we do, what we expect, what happens when the police come. The idea of handcuffing, the idea of shackling someone in the front -- behind their back and removing their ability to communicate. Important that officers get trained, that they understand that handcuffing behind the back is a huge safety issue. If an officer wants to handcuff in the front, that is their call. Also wants the person to be able to get a hold of you, grab things, come back. But training by telling the police officers and sheriffs, if you are going to handcuff someone who is deaf behind their back, you have removed their ability to speak. So if you have the ASL interpreter on scene you can explain that to them. Whether you do it through notes, however you want to do it, but then if you are going to interview the person or interrogate them later, you have to take a look at how you are going to accomplish that by removing the handcuffs. If they are, you know, in a correctional setting, if they are prone to violence, you are probably going to be shackled. You know, you could use wrist shackles or waste shackles and extend the length of them to allow that range of signing. Kind of that zone between the top of your head and, you know, your waste, you know. But again, those are issues to make later but that idea of letting them know the needs of a person who is deaf that you are handcuffing then is effectively the same idea as putting tape across their mouth. If you know that, it is like the thing I said about autism. Sometimes you have to touch people who have autism that are going to react to that but knowing that that reaction and what it is, is based on their don''t like to be touched. Not that they are resisting and the handcuffing is - stop the panic ahead of time by telling the person - letting the person know, however you need to do that, that Im going to - were cuffing you behind your back. You know, were going to go to the station, there will be an interpreter there, we will interpret later. Whatever it is, but again, a little bit of information. Next slide. Well spend a little time here talking about working with a sign language interpreter in a law enforcement setting where it can be all different. We have interrogations and we have interviews. In the Miranda warning you give to the person. You know, training the interpreters. So, for example, you have all seen it on TV, the interview room. Making sure that the investigator or the officer conducting the interviewer or the interrogation in that case, clearly understands that the interpreter will be signing everything that goes on in the room and that they may have to set the room up a little differently because of light sources. I am a proponent of videotaping anything like that because it creates a great record when you go to court but again, those are issues you are going to have to talk to the local prosecutor about and local law enforcement as to whether the interviews are videotaped at all and those are all procedural things. But this idea of training your investigators to understand how the interpreter works. To understand they may ask follow-up questions, they may ask clarification. You do not use a lot of jargon because they are not going to know about. Also in training, during the interview, you understand that nodding doesn''t mean yes to your question. That there is a lag time between the interpreting and the questions you are asking. And misreading body language, that idea of nodding or agreement or raining your hands up, which could indicate this may be a sign that they do not understand what the interpreter is saying and you might take that another way. So, and also in talking to the person not through the interpreter and being clear what the interpreter - what the expectations are. Meet them outside the interview room, tell them what you are doing. Why you are -- they are there. What you are going to be doing. And ask if they have any questions. Another thing is in training the interpreters they may not want to be involved in whatever organization you are using. Could be just a philosophical issue. It could be they are very uncomfortable with that setting. What we did - we had on-call sign language interpreters, a male and a female, and a third in case there was some issue but having a male and female interpreters available could be huge particularly in sexual assault cases. Also in case person doesn''t want to interpret for that person in particular. They may know them or they find that they hear they are not great at interpreting with them. That there is a depth, someone who is better at interpreting for them. Also understanding that written statements may be written in nonstandard English, which is ASL and they write in ASL. And it is not a sign of intelligence. It is a sign that they write differently or, you know, articles are missing, words may be different. But the information is the same. But understanding that when at firsthand you read it and it is like, what is this? And I always try to equate as, when I train officers with the statement and they are not quite clear, it is the same idea if you have someone who has a heavy accent you just listen a little harder. So when you are reading the statement, if you think about what it is saying, it actually works and it makes sense to you. And you can also use the interpreter to ask clarifying questions. Next slide just kind of touch on a few readable accommodation examples. Sorry I am going real fast here but I want to make sure we get some things in. Just some things, simple things like providing documents by mail but the investigator is going back and forth or even the officers all have e-mail, you know, providing someone with a witness form or victim witness information. Something simple, you know the 3 o''clock in the morning example. Someone with low vision needs larger print out on the form, let us take it over to the photo copier and blow it up and come bring it back and forth until they can read it. You know, reading or filling out forms for them is very possible. One of things that comes up there - came up early on was a person because of -- damage to their hands and had been burned received a traffic ticket but could not sign the promise to appear. So what we did is came up with a policy very simply. If you cannot sign a promise to appear because of a disability, explain to the person that this is not an admission of guilt. You have to show up on the 15th on the fourth floor for traffic court, they acknowledge that and then write an incident report or a police report that says, you know, I stopped Mike Sullivan, he could not sign because of a disability, he acknowledged that he will be there on this date and that date. I do not know in all other states but in California if you refuse to sign the ticket, you could be arrested. So the refusal is not a refusal to sign the ticket. It is unable to because of a disability and the acknowledgement that they will show up when they are supposed to, when they are signing for a promise to appear. Meet him in the lobby. We have district police stations. They are some of the older stations, pretty expensive to do the drop in the counter for the accessible counters. There are also the small lobbies and other issues of physical limitations. So simple modification is person with a disability is there and they need to go out in the lobby and do the interview or fill out the forms or take the police report, go out in the lobby. Very simple thing. You know, follow-up information on the report. People because of medication would not be available in the morning. So the investigator who gets the case and starts calling at 8 o''clock in the morning and nobodys answering. You know information about when is a good time to call. Also these are going to be issues about the follow up. What are the limits your agency wants to put in about disability information in there? You want to just be presented as a disability, here is follow up information. How do you want to handle that? May be important to the case, may be important to the follow up. Another real simple like sort of hands on, you know the 3 o''clock in the morning example, what do you do when technology is literally not available to you? The next slide is a very simple thing that anybody can take out a piece of paper do in a matter of seconds is list ABCs, the number 0, 1 through 10, and the words yes and no. You can conduct an interview until you can get whatever age you need but that initial information about a victim of crime who has a speech impairment that is worsened because they are now panicked. They are scared to death. They are talking faster because they have just been a victim of a crime. And you can''t understand them and you told them you can''t understand it and they are too nervous to write or whatever it is. A real quick, whip out a piece of paper and they can answer questions. And I mentioned earlier about -- CP that you may not understand can point to these and get you quick suspect information, direction, kind of vehicle. You know, yes or no questions and get that information very quickly out there, particularly crimes that just occurred. And then as things settle down you can find a more permanent solution to that. Next slide. This is the role of the ADA coordinator, which I am sure you are all waiting for. Credibility, if you are going to train with law enforcement, get a law enforcement to train, somebody in the training academy, whoever does their training to work with you because it is very important for that credibility that you have information about disability but the law enforcement officer is going to have, and the training is going to have how to apply it to law enforcement. How to make it work, how to make it understandable, work with existing policies, those kinds of things so great credibility. You know the big thing is we get tired of everybody telling us how to do your job. A lot about how to do your job, you are probably already doing some of these things but did not know it so we are going to make it easier. Some tools in your toolkit and go out there and work with people with disabilities and putting together a case, doing interviews, general questions and making it all work, you know. And who are people with disabilities in your community who are they? Obviously they are victims of crimes and obviously based on the study that was done in Portland, people with disabilities may be reluctant to come forward. So who are they? Who are they in your - what groups can tell you about that? Centers for independent living, deaf groups, social organizations. Find out who they are. How are they - how are they keeping in touch with the police? There are people preying on people with disabilities or their members of a disabled community who prey on other members? As hard as that sounds to believe, I have had a few cases that look like that. Describe how peopledisabilities - What they want the police to know. What is it that - and it is hugely important that people with disabilities tell police officers what - its the me. This is what I want you to know about me. I am not this disability. But here is what I need you to know when you are working to me or talking to me. These are the things thats behaviors that I talked about earlier on that as a law enforcement officer, you are going to see. Talk to the disability community. Tell them who you are, what you are doing. You know I mentioned the non-profits, going out and educating them on identity thefts and crime, landlord tenant disputes, domestic violence so they know and understand when to call the police if they need to get the police involved. Go ahead and take a look at your existing policies. Most -- every agency has some sort of operating manual. You see things about arrest, transportation, interviewing, follow-ups. Look at maybe they did self-evaluation, maybe they did the transition plan if they have not, it would be a great idea to at least factor in. Look at those things and see if they truly are facilities that are accessible. Look at their overall training. Do you have disability training? Is it only on mental illness? Is it only on deaf/hard of hearing? Get everybody, you want it about everybody. Not just individual disabilities because law enforcement touches everyone. And the big thing is my 3 o''clock example; make absolutely sure that anything that''s put in to place as a policy or procedure is available 24/7 because it is going to be the person in the middle of the night that is going to need it. Not the Monday through Friday call which is always the easiest - probably the easiest one to deal with. So just in closing here, I just want to go over some examples of some kind of policies here and then open up to questions. Just some simple things, service animal policy procedure, service animal calls we have a lot of those calls. Can you ask about disability and the answer to that is this, for law enforcement only if you are enforcing a law, like in California it is actually a misdemeanor to deny access to someone using a service animal. That is a misdemeanor. One of the elements of that crime, one of the things you have to set out to prove, is it said in person with a disability? So you have to ask what the disability is because that goes to charging. If you don''t have such policy or law to follow up on, what I would suggest is this, is it your pet? If it is not a pet the person with a disability is going to let you know that. And if you are still not clear, what does the animal do and that should cover it. So that idea that''s where the Title III entities come in and where the whole police get called to the restaurant because the person has a service animal and the whole thing gets going and everybodys agitated and they come in and training your officers to understand service animal calls is a big deal, particularly just for good policing because it is going to call for service but also if there is a law in your jurisdiction. How to get auxiliary aids. Again, 24/7 accessible mean policies, community policing, inviting the public in. You know we talked a little on TYY and booking, how to obtain sign language interpreters, how to transport people with disabilities, multiple chemical sensitivities, environmental illness. Again people get arrested, they come in to do interviews and reports. If there are odors, smells, cleaning products, markers. When someone tells you what is bothering them, believe them. That it is real. It is not some made up thing. Vehicle code enforcement, talked about signing the citations, sidewalk violations, you know, blocking the sidewalk so people wont kill the path of travel. Having some policy about citing and towing. The disabled packer, do you tow the vehicle? Do you leave the vehicle in place because we have found that sometimes the vehicles towed, the person had extra batteries in her car and the car is gone because it was illegally parked. So the things, you know prescription drugs used by detainees, do you keep the medication, do they move on? How do you handle drugs particularly in a correctional setting and making sure they have access to proper medication or medications that they are taking on a schedule. Segways, do you have local rules against segways. How are you going to find out about that? How are you going to enforce that? How are you not going to enforce it? What is the segway? What is another mobility device? Are they allowed in transit malls? Not allowed in transit malls? The regulations talk about how to identify that and have a policy about that. And event permit conditions, we talk about that earlier about having law, requiring that people putting on the event to have access information available for law enforcement so they can find the right person to get it fixed. So you see it opened up to questions now.
All right. Thank you very much Mike for that information. Quickly give instructions again for our participants in the webinar room. Go to the participant list and select the Great Lakes participant, right click on Great Lakes and you will see the option to submit a private message to us. If you are using assistive technology, screen reader users use the F6 key until you get to the participant list, once in the participant list arrow up or down until you find the Great Lakes participant. Again right click and youll be able to submit a message and then I will ask Saeid to come and give instructions to our participants on telephone on how they can ask questions at this time.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen if you want to ask a question please press star and then 1 on your touch tone telephone. Once again ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to ask a question please press star and then 1 on your touch tone telephone.
And while we are waiting for questions, Michael, really quickly I want to go back to your service animal example on the last one and just make sure that folks are clear on this so we don''t get a lot of service animal questions. When you were talking about getting into the person''s nature with regards to service animals you were talking specifically about enforcing the California law that - where businesses don''t allow a person with a disability from bringing their service animal in to the business with them. You know, where that asking about disabilities is appropriate in terms of enforcement versus the limitations and you -- the limitations and the two questions that can be asked by state and local government or even by businesses in terms of, is it a service animal and if it is a service animal, what task or work does the animal perform?
Right, let us make it really clear. If your state or local jurisdiction does not have a law ordinance to be enforced, you know whether it is a misdemeanor or infraction, law enforcement is the same as everybody else. They do not get to ask that question. So the idea, if they are enforcing a law, then they are specifically looking for what is called the elements of crime. But again, that is absolutely a law enforcement issue if they are in the process of enforcing an actual statue. So I just want to be clear it doesn''t change the rule about anything about asking that is unique to law enforcement while doing enforcement.
Alright, ok, excellent. Saeid do we have any questions on the telephone at this time?
I am showing no one in the queue at this time.
Ok, well we have got some questions from our folks participating in the webinar room and the first question wants to know how officers are trained to react to a person who tries to use their mobility device as a weapon. And what would be the training or protocol for some of that attempts to use a mobility device such as a cane or walker at the officer.
Well it would be the same as any other situation and so on. It becomes a weapon at that point and again as I talked about earlier in training that the idea about creating that extra distance. So someone''s reach could be six feet with a cane, for example. So what that gets down to is very basic agency''s use of force policy. They may use pepper spray, they may use a baton to strike it away, whatever the rule is locally, if someone is using a cane, it becomes a weapon at that point. So that''s where it is important to also understand in training police officers about the approach, recognizing the extended reach and modifying their approach to that so that maybe that situation doesn''t create itself.
Okay. Excellent. And then another question from the webinar platform, asking for the best practices that folks in the disability community can use to advocate with their police department to participate and engage their officers in training on how to interact and deal with people with disabilities.
Hopefully there is an ADA coordinator in your jurisdiction. But if not, if you go directly to where there is the sheriff or the chief of police, and you know, other independent living centers. Get a community group, coalition together, talk about what the issues are and present them. And you probably have some solutions to those problems and again there was a creditability that issue about partnering with the police or the sheriff or whatever law enforcement agency you are dealing with so that the information you have can be tweaked to fit that setting. And I am a big proponent of community policing. That community groups come to the local law enforcement and have a sit down and talk about these issues. And again, another great source is ada.gov with the settlement agreements. It will give you a pretty good idea of what is kind of going on out there.
Right and from the other perspective then, from the law enforcement perspective of reaching out to the disability community you talked about reluctance of victims with disabilities you know, coming forth or even witnesses to crimes, reluctant to come forward. That''s not necessarily unique to the disability community. There are other communities for, you know, other reasons, whether it is legal status, that are sometimes weary of law enforcement. And so from the law - from the police perspective, are there techniques that are used to reach out to other communities that like to keep the police at arm''s length at -- that you have used or you know, that you have consulted on that would be effective reaching out to the disability community?
I think one of the biggest groups to help you do that is independent living centers. They have people with -- it is getting to them first as a law enforcement agency and going out to them. Because I think what happens, if you think about a lot of information that bombards us about reporting and domestic violence and any number of things. It is done through mass media and I think people with disabilities get missed, not intentionally but it just not thought of making that second level. And independent living centers are going - because they talk about the disabled community partnering police, one of the things that I found very effective for me when I was with the police department was using the independent living center and the hearing society and disability rights groups and others to say can I come to your meeting? Can we talk? Can we partner? Can I come to a - and talk about what the police do? And get that connection that way plus they are a great source of information if things progress and finding out what''s going on with the community and it is a trust issue as with any community. Everybody brings to the table their prejudice about people with disabilities and people with disabilities about law enforcement because of a bad experience. But at least working through the independent living centers is kind of one source, is a great to get your foot in the door and start that line of communication.
Alright, and then you also talked about the, you know the ADA coordinator in those communities, those towns and counties where they have ADA or disability advisory groups I would imagine would be another good place to work for the ADA coordinator and the disability community going both ways.
Absolutely. You know mayor''s disability councils like that, city councils. I think the years I have been doing this that I don''t think it has been on peoples radar so much about going to your police agency or your law enforcement agency and saying we want to help the disability stuff going here. But I like the global approach. It tends to be very, like I said before, very specific disability but I like the idea of -- I mean it is about everybody. It is a civil rights law. Get everybody to the table. It is about, as I said earlier on about not enforcing but complying and get that line of communication started.
Alright, and the next question from online and then after that, we will check with Siad to see if there are any questions by phone. But this has to do with video remote interpreting. The revised Department of Justice regulations that went into effect back in March of 2011 now continues specific -- There are specifications that must be met if a covered entity, if a public entity is using video remote interpreting as its means of communicating with someone that is deaf or hard of hearing. So, you know, that can certainly be used when someone is coming in to fill out a report or even, I guess, when -- if someone is being interviewed as part of a prosecution or as part of the expiration of a criminal act. But do you have any, you know, from your perspective in your years in law enforcement, Mike, the use of video remote interpreting versus using a qualified interpreter in person for something that may be more in-depth if you are, you know, questioning someone as part of their suspect?
Technology is great. I think it is wonderful. But in my view it is not a substitute for an actual person signing because it is a great -- putting up some example in district stations where someone comes in, make a counter a report, do whatever they need to do, have the video relay interpreter service there and can go back and forth, take care of their report, do simple things. But one of the things to be aware of about the face to face interpreting is that, take that example I gave earlier about the deaf couple at dinner. If they went in to a district police station and make a report about that their window was broken on their car, and the officers doing a report through video relay and starts to realize that there may be a domestic violence thing going on here or is suspicious of that. That is where you want to get a live interpreter because you are going to separate people. You also have crime scenes to go to, follow victims of hospitalization and you want to keep that interpreter with them alone for the continuity and the chain of evidence in those kinds of things. So, really search stuff is great but also check with the relay folks just in case you do use them for interpreting in a criminal case where there is an interview or an interrogation. Do they understand? Are they medical legal certified? Do they understand there may be subpoenaed to court, you know, things about notes. And those are things to talk with your district attorney and local law enforcement investigations about how to utilize that. But I am all for that relay sur --- video relay is great but recognizing that you still need to do face to face, real live person standing there and moving about because it could be very fluid.
Sure, sure. And then Saeid, do we have any questions on the telephone?
We do have a question from Rick Edwards.
Alright, go ahead with your question Rick.
Thanks Peter. First of all, great information, I wish we had more law enforcement folk here but my initial question was about service animals and when the service animal itself becomes disruptive or protective of the individual. You kind of addressed that already with the wheelchair issue. So if I can follow up with it, can you talk a little bit about disputes regarding parking situations where you got folks even sometimes folks with disabilities arguing about the parking problem?
Just to clarify, is it the lack of spaces or just...?
Abuse where there is some questions as to whether or not the parking placard is issued through the individual with a disability or whether this is grandma''s parking placard or whether they are parking in access aisles, that kind of thing..
Well, I can talk about California because I know the law. So here, everyone who has a parking placard is issued an I.D. that goes along with it. And then for law enforcement, you can also rob the persons drivers license number and it will tell you whether or not they have a placard. The placard has a number and stickers. Again it is another issue of, it is a vehicle code violation to misuse a placard so the questions can be asked. And there are - a placard does not give you carte blanche to park where you would like. There are still tow-away zones; there are still fire hydrants in places thats prohibited. A lot of that is education in making sure your people understand it. And, you know, some entities have a unit that parking and traffic authority in San Francisco have people who specifically go around, following up on complaints and enforcing that. So those are things to look at and kind of tackle it and find out. And again the training is how do you find out if it is a real Placard.
Excellent. Thank you Mike, I appreciate it again your training. Very good.
Alright, thanks for the question Rick. Staying on the theme of accessible parking spaces and the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that where parking spaces are provided in parking lots, a certain number of them must be accessible spaces but doesn''t get in to the enforcement that''s left up to state and local levels. And your experience and your knowledge in California, you know, what laws are on the books in terms of, do police have the authority, for instance, if they are called to come onto a private property, so at a shopping center, and you know, issue a ticket for a vehicle that is improperly parked?
Well this is going to be true in part of a vehicle code, so in California you can tow -- or a private lot, it is still illegal to park without the proper credential placard in a zone. So it can be taken off the parking lot and California allows private property owners to have vehicles towed off and removed. There is also -- it can also be provisions in the codes or fines, you know because eventually you will have to get your vehicle back but it is a very expensive ticket in California to park illegally or misuse a parking placard. It could also be a misdemeanor if you are using someone else''s placard.
Ok, excellent. From state to state, sure. Saeid, do we have another question on the telephone at this time?
I am showing a question from Sheila Lori.
Alright, Sheila go ahead with your question, please.
Yes. Our person in our group has a question. What would be some insight or best approach to get the local authorities to enforce violations where people are parking or parking or blocking the access aisles of accessible parks?
Well first thing is to -- obviously you can''t do that. So that should be a provision in your local vehicle code or state code about blocking the access aisle. But sometimes I find that they may not really know it or it is a priority about calls and how to handle that. At some point, like what I was saying before about going to the local law enforcement and getting them to understand why that is a huge issue. Huge issue for someone using a chair that is now blocked and has to go out behind cars and a car backed up because the access aisle was gone. So I think, and a lot of it is just letting them know why it is important. Because I don''t think -- people without disables don''t think about issues of mobility very often. You know, it doesn''t seem to make sense and what''s very obvious for someone for a mobility impairment is not even on everyone else''s radar. So that idea of going and talk to them and tell them we need additional enforcement that is a problem. And it is also if particular areas where it is occurring on a regular basis then they can target those areas.
Michael, great. Saeid if you could mute that mic, thanks. It sounds like an another issue of having that dialogue, the communication between the disability community and the law enforcement.
It is huge. It is just - as I said when I first became the ADA coordinator in 1992, it was amazing to me the assumptions that I had that everybody knew what was going on and talking to the deaf community, center for independent living and I just went out and talked to them and realized there is a lot of stuff that is just not happening. And the disabled community was not necessarily talking to us because, if you think about it, you tried it before and nobody listened, you kind of get tired of sort of banging your head against the wall so that -- get out there and talk. It is so much easier if you just get that started and find out actually how easy it is to do this stuff. This is not rocket science.
Right. Right. And we have time for one last question from the webinar room. Another service animal question. And, you know, the person is asking, you know, what happens if police are called because a service animal is -- someone is saying identifying as a person with a disability with a service animal. And the police are called because the service animal is acting aggressively or jumping on persons at whether it is a private business or in a public setting. What -- what type of protocol would be best to practice for responding officers?
The thing to remember is, you know, the ADA, the new regulations really does a good job of laying out what you need to do. So again, having a policy, how to approach the interview, you know is it your pet, what''s the animal do so you understand what service animals are. Also letting them know if you have a particularly local policy that allows for comfort animals. That that is understood. That the local county, for example San Francisco, they allow for that. Understanding that the animal, if it is a service animal is being agitated and leaping at people probably means that somebody is bothering the dog or doing something to agitate the animal because they do not behave that way. It really cant be under the -- letting them know that it has to be under the control of the person or someone -- the handler of the animal. If they can''t maintain control, that if it comes down to where they have to exclude the animal, that the business owner or whomever it is, has to understand that they have to make accommodation for that person to use the facility. My experience has been that when the animal is being agitated there is a reason for it and like training your officers to understand the animals do not behave that way. Some external thing is happening. Figure out what''s bugging the dog which is probably somebody doing something and what you are doing there is you don''t need to exclude the animal. Maybe you need to go out and maybe you need to go have a discussion with the person or whatever is causing the dog to be disruptive. To knock it off or remove it.
Excellent. Well, we are at the bottom of the hour and Mike I wanted to thank you for just a tremendous amount of information and a great presentation that you provided to us today. So a great way to kick off the first ADA audio conference of the year. If you did have a question that we were unable to get to due to time constraints, you can reach your ADA center by calling 800-949-4232. Or visit www.adata.org to find out where you regional ADA center is located. A quick reminder that today''s session has been recorded and the audio archive will be available shortly and that will be available on the ADA-audio.org website. Coming up in February we are going to take a look at -- revisit the issue of pools. Everyone in to the pool: A refresher on the requirements for swimming pool lifts. There was a suspension in the requirements for accessible means of entry and exit into and out of existing pools. That suspension ends on January 31st of 2013. And so in February we will revisit that issue. You can get additional information and register for that session by visiting www.ada-audio.org and if you have questions you may contact us at 877-232-1990. Again want to thank Michael Sullivan again on behalf of the ADA national network for his time and energy and putting it together today''s presentation and then delivering it today and answering the questions that the folks had out there. So I want to thank all of you as well participants for joining us today. We look forward to seeing you in February. For those of you in the webinar room simply close your browser to exit the webinar platform. And we will see you all next month. Good day.
Ladies and gentlemen thank you for participating in today''s conference. This concludes the program, you may all disconnect and have a wonderful day.