Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council First Responder Project sees big Results and Gains a National Audience

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New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
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New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council First Responder Project sees big Results and Gains a National Audience

Albany, NY, March 16, 2017 - From 2011 to 2015, the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council funded the Nation’s first comprehensive program intended to train police, firefighters, EMT’s and 911 dispatchers on the proper and appropriate response to calls involving individuals with developmental disabilities.

Developed by Niagara University under a DDPC grant, the First Responders Disability Awareness Training Program has gained a lot of attention, and has been adopted by some very big names in law enforcement. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has embedded the program into the training that is mandated for all new police officers prior to active duty. In addition, the training was adopted by the Buffalo Field Office of the FBI, the first FBI field office to have all of its personnel trained in disability awareness.

The program has garnered national attention, as well. Six states - New Jersey, Missouri, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Virginia - have either implemented the program within their state or are in the process of doing so. In addition, the First Responders Program is also the only training that is recognized by the National Emergency Numbers Association for training 911 operators to handle calls involving individuals with developmental disabilities.

“The fact that the New York State Criminal Justice Services, FBI, and other states have adopted the training speaks volumes about the quality of the program, and it demonstrates that New York has, once again, proved itself to be a leader in the development of innovations in the field of disability services and supports”, DDPC Executive Director Sheila Carey said. “