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NCJ Number: 250678 Find in a Library
Title: APP Aims To Facilitate Interactions Between Police and Autistic Individuals
Journal: TECHBeat  Dated:March 2017  Pages:7-9
Author(s): Michele Coppola
Corporate Author: National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)
United States of America
Date Published: March 2017
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC)
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Program/Project Description; Report (Technical Assistance); Report (Technical)
Format: Article; Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the features of an app designed to ease the risk for misunderstanding and conflict when police officers interact with individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities.
Abstract: The app is called Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Services (VITALS). The app was developed under a partnership involving the St. Paul (Minnesota) Police Department, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM) and Aware Services, LLC. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause challenges in social, communication, and behavioral challenges. It affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. Persons with autism may exhibit behaviors that can be misinterpreted as uncooperative or evasive. VITALS uses a mobile app and a small beacon that enables individuals to voluntarily disclose their disability to emergency responders who come within a 30 to 50 foot radius. The individual carries the beacon that can be detected by the app on the emergency responder’s mobile phone. When the beacon is detected, the responder can see a photo of the individual along with information such as name, age, height, diagnosis, and behavioral triggers (i.e.., bright, flashing lights and being pushed or touched). De-escalation techniques are suggested to the responder for the particular individual, and caregiver contact information is provided. Officers have done preliminary testing of the app, which will undergo a pilot test using police officers and volunteer members of the autistic community.
Main Term(s): Technology transfer
Index Term(s): Communication techniques; Mobile digital communications; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); NIJ grant-related documents; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Persons with Disabilities; Police-citizen interactions; Visual communications
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