The Call - Winter 2016 - 21

person with a disability, and perceives
it as something else, how could his
or her response be appropriate to
the situation? Many individuals with
disabilities have expressed a fear of
being victimized twice by calling 9‑1‑1.
Couple this statement with the fact
that individuals with disabilities are
seven times more likely to be the victim
of a crime-and imagine not calling
9‑1‑1 when victimized, fearing the
response from the dispatcher or first
responder on the scene may not be
worth the call.
In July 2016, NU FRDAT and NENA
came together to sign an agreement
whereby the 9‑1‑1 association addressed
the importance of the program and
recognized NU as the preferred training
outlet for this topic, building it into their
catalog and ensuring that training be
provided at its conferences. For more
information, contact NU FRDAT at
716‑286‑7355 or, or visit
the NENA website at
Disability awareness training is
sensitivity training and education. The
intent of the training is broken down
into the following areas specific to
9‑1‑1 officers and dispatchers. While
we could expand on most of these
topics, we recognize time constraints
and the excessive amount of training
necessary to carry out your duties and
responsibilities. Therefore, we have
provided you with exactly what is
necessary to ensure a proper response.
Here is a synopsis of the sections
within the program:
Person‑First Language: Person‑first
language is the proper and appropriate
way to communicate with an individual
with a disability. As with other terms
and identifications within the diversity
spectrum, this is expected language.
The initial intervention will indicate if
the dispatcher knows how to interact
with and respond to an individual with
a disability, and it starts with proper
language. Some terms are not only
archaic, but also offensive, including
"handicapped," "suffers from," "bound
or confined," and phrases that do not

identify the person before the disability
(for example, it is preferable to refer to
someone as a "person with epilepsy" as
opposed to "epileptic."
Resources: Person-First Language Guide,
Words with Dignity.
Communication: With many
disabilities, the ability to verbally
communicate clearly and precisely can
be compromised or not present at all.
While most take this ability for granted,
communication is the second most
important human need after biological
needs. NU FRDAT exposes trainees to
speech disabilities, explains how and
why they present, and provides insight
into comprehension.
Disabilities Defined and the
Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA): All municipalities are covered
under Title II of the ADA. To provide
appropriate services and responses, it
is imperative to understand how this
specifically guides PSAPs as defined by
federal law. The definition of a disability
under the ADA is expansive and better
explains a person's disposition.
Resources: ADA Guidance.
Speech Disabilities: A major
component of the program is
introduction to the broad array of
speech disabilities that exist, including
their definitions and exposure to
them. These speech disabilities
include aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria,
stuttering, and disabilities resulting
from laryngectomies. They also
include exposure to augmentative
communication, which is prominent in
other sections, as well.
Resources: Speech Impairment Etiquette,
Dysarthria, Stuttering, and Aphasia.
Mental Health: When this highly
misunderstood and stigmatized
disability manifests itself, receiving
calls from individuals in crisis or loved
ones communicating the situation can
be challenging. There are a wide array
of emotional disabilities and mental
health conditions; we focus on the most
common and challenging.
Resources: Common Mental Health
Disorders, Indicators of Mental Illness,

Intervening with Persons with Mental
Illness, Basic Etiquette.
Physical Disabilities: An extensive
amount of disabilities are considered
physical. Our intent is not to provide
in‑depth information on each one (for
example, multiple sclerosis or cerebral
palsy), but to understand the disposition
of the individual. This could include
a non‑functioning wheelchair, lifting
needs for those who have fallen, speech
disabilities, and intellectual functioning.
Resources: Basic Etiquette, Most Common
Physical Disability Handouts.
Intellectual Disability: Intellectual
disabilities are common, and many
individuals affected by them live with
minimal to no assistance. Those who
do require assistance and support
generally reside with family or in a
supported‑living setting (commonly
called a group home). With this comes
a middle person in the form of a parent
or staff member, who can be helpful but
also cause confusion. It is important to
understand how service provisions work
and their role in caregiving. 9‑1‑1 calls
related to individuals with intellectual
disabilities contain a separate protocol
to ensure the responder's interaction is
accurate and appropriate.
Resources: Dispatch Protocol-individuals
with ID, Basic Etiquette, Levels of
Adaptive Functioning, Down Syndrome,
Introduction to ID.
Autism Spectrum Disorders: The
main characteristics, whereby there
will be some form of impairment
to varying degrees, are sensory,
communication, social interaction,
and play. To expand on this, about
50 percent of individuals with autism are
non‑verbal, but may use augmentative
communication. Incoming calls from
individuals with autism spectrum
disorders may vary in many aspects.
While other characteristics will
not be directly related to the call
itself, they are highly significant
to the responder deployed. Some
individuals may exhibit challenging
behaviors-some extreme-while
others live in the community and
have gainful employment. However,

Read the digital edition at‑nxt/


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Winter 2016

President’s Message
From the CEO
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
Government Affairs
10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
Tech Trends
NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
Educational and Operational Issues
Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover1
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover2
The Call - Winter 2016 - 3
The Call - Winter 2016 - 4
The Call - Winter 2016 - 5
The Call - Winter 2016 - 6
The Call - Winter 2016 - 7
The Call - Winter 2016 - President’s Message
The Call - Winter 2016 - From the CEO
The Call - Winter 2016 - Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: The Gatlinburg Fires
The Call - Winter 2016 - 11
The Call - Winter 2016 - 12
The Call - Winter 2016 - Government Affairs
The Call - Winter 2016 - 10 Best Practices to Improve Your 9-1-1 Quality Assurance Program
The Call - Winter 2016 - 15
The Call - Winter 2016 - 16
The Call - Winter 2016 - 17
The Call - Winter 2016 - 18
The Call - Winter 2016 - Tech Trends
The Call - Winter 2016 - NENA Helps Bring Disability Awareness Training to the Forefront
The Call - Winter 2016 - 21
The Call - Winter 2016 - 22
The Call - Winter 2016 - Operations
The Call - Winter 2016 - Educational and Operational Issues
The Call - Winter 2016 - 25
The Call - Winter 2016 - Public Safety Product and Service Buyer’s Guide
The Call - Winter 2016 - 27
The Call - Winter 2016 - 28
The Call - Winter 2016 - 29
The Call - Winter 2016 - 30
The Call - Winter 2016 - 31
The Call - Winter 2016 - 32
The Call - Winter 2016 - 33
The Call - Winter 2016 - Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover3
The Call - Winter 2016 - cover4