The Arc of Southern Maryland

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Ethan Saylor First Responders Training


What is the Ethan Saylor First Responders Training?

Prompted by Ethan Saylor legislation (SB0853, CH0387), The Arc and their People On The Go advocates became involved in training law enforcement to become better equipped to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in our community.

Trained facilitators and self-advocates incorporate role-playing and real life scenarios to demonstrate how to approach, deescalate and resolve matters involving people with I/DD. We also work with community partners to facilitate interactive and inclusive training sessions, providing an opportunity for people with I/DD to participate and learn how to safely manage an encounter with first responders.

Training objectives, as indicated by the Maryland Police & Correctional Training Commission:

  • Identify the procedures that an officer should/may employ when encountering an individual with an I/DD
  • Identifying the difference in procedures used when encountering a person with an I/DD as an offender, victim, witness, or individual in need of assistance and how these roles may overlap
  • Identify the need to exercise ethical leadership when encountering an individual with I/DD
  • Identify the indicators that a person may have an I/DD
  • Identify why it is important for officers to be aware of people with an I/DD, the prevalence of I/DDs and the need to reduce stigma
  • Identify what is meant by hidden disabilities
  • Describe general behaviors associated with persons with an I/DD
  • Identify non-verbal distractions, both personal and environmental, that may affect an encounter with a person that has an I/DD
  • Identify the difference between a person with an I/DD and a person with a mental illness
  • Identify the procedures an officer should follow to ensure the safety and calmness of an individual that has an I/DD
  • Explain the impact of prior trauma on interactions with a person who has an I/DD (i.e. Trauma Informed Care)
  • Describe what it means to be safe from the perspective of people with an I/DD, the officer, and community
  • Identify procedures used to ensure a safe outcome for individuals with I/DD, officers, and communities
  • Describe the impact of an officer’s attitude and actions toward people with an I/DD on the public
  • Identify the officer’s ability to use discretion when encountering a person with an I/DD to resolve an incident with respect and understanding
  • Identify the medical and physical vulnerabilities commonly associated with a person with an I/DD and the impact on a safe outcome
  • Describe the importance of using community resources to assist the officer

For more info, contact Caroline Blackmer, Admitting Coordinator


Phone: (301) 475-5652(301) 475-5652, ext. 103


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