People with Disabilities

Crime Prevention for People with Disabilities

A Physical disability – impaired vision, hearing, or mobility – doesn’t prevent you from being a victim of crime.
Common sense actions can reduce your risk.

  • Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings, whether on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, or waiting for the bus or train.
  • Send a message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going.
  • Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
  • Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, restaurants, or stores that are open and accessible.
  • Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Most of us have daily routines, but never varying them may increase your vulnerability to crime.

AT HOME:

  • Put good locks on all your doors such as double-cylinder, deadbolt locks; make sure you can easily use the locks you install.
  • Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is especially important if you use a wheelchair.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you as well as themselves are a frontline defense against crime.
  • If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message – giving your name, address, and type of disability to use in emergencies. Keep the tape next to your phone.
  • Ask for a free home security survey to help identify your individual needs. Call 732-669-3612 for more information.

OUT AND ABOUT:

  • If possible, go with a friend.
  • Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through vacant lots, wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket. If you use a wheelchair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.
  • If you use a knapsack, make sure it is securely shut.
  • Always carry your medical information in case of an emergency.
  • Consider keeping a cellular phone handy.

ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

  • Use well-lighted, busy stops. Stay near other passengers.
  • Stay alert. Don’t doze or daydream.
  • If someone harasses you, make a loud noise or say, “Leave me alone.”
    If that doesn’t work, hit the emergency signal on the bus or train.

TAKE A STAND!

  • Join, or help organize, a Neighborhood Watch group. Make sure their meetings are accessible to people with disabilities. For example, do they need a sign language interpreter? Can individuals who use walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs enter the meeting place?
  • Work with local law enforcement to improve responses to all victims or witnesses of crime. Role-play how people with disabilities can handle threatening situations.
  • Work with a rehabilitation center or advocacy groups t offer a presentation to schools and other community organizations on the needs and concerns of individuals with disabilities.

RESOURCES:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1801 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20507
800/ 669-3362
800-800-3302 TDD

National Easter Seal Society
240 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, IL 60606-4802
800/ 221-6827
312/ 726-6200
312/ 726-4258 TDD

Paralyzed Veterans of America
801 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
800/ USA-5UCP V/TT
202/842-1266 V/TT