We are moving along with great momentum for 2016, with lots of collaborations with local First Response agencies throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island!
In April, in honor of National Autism Awareness Month, ALEC will be presenting at a 2-day state-wide conference for First Responders, parents, educators and other related professionals. ALEC will be presenting on what autism is, how to identify a person diagnosed with autism in an emergency situation, as well as what families and caregivers can do to prepare their loved ones for an emergency situation. A special parent-component is scheduled in the evening of the 2-day conference where ALEC presenters will help families fill out special biographical forms and educate them on how to communicate their loved ones needs with their own local First Responders.
In April we will also be presenting at a conference in New York focused on Fire and Police personnel. We have presented at this conference in the past, and have been asked to return due to the tremendous response from First Response agencies.
Our ongoing collaborations with Autism Society of America in South Carolina remains, and we will be visiting in the spring to help them develop their own training curriculum for First Response agencies.
It is the private funds that you support us with that enable us to bring our program to other states throughout the U.S. We are grateful for your continued support- you help make this special initiative a reality and we are thankful for all you do.
We will continue hosting trainings throughout Massachusetts with the use of state dollars- we are currently working with The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities in a proposal that will enable ALEC to go into local and state hospitals to prepare emergency rooms to better serve people with ASD during a medical emergency.
Thank you again for all you do, and on behalf of the ALEC team and all of us at The Arc of South Norfolk, we wish you a Happy and Healthy 2016!
Oct 7, 2015
ALEC helps keep our airports safe!
By Betsy Roche - Project Leader
posing before going out on the runway!
On Friday, October 2, 2015, The ALEC Program brought a team of participants to volunteer for Massport in their Operation Ready 2015 drill. The drill consisted of reenacting the Asianic Airlines Crash that took place in San Diego where there was a fatality and many injured passengers. Massport at Logan Airport reached out to ALEC to ask them to be a part of the drill. They wanted to include people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual and developmental disabilities so they could have the experience of evacuating passengers with disabilities off of a plane in an emergency/crisis situation. Over 180 passengers were boarded on a plane on a runway at Boston Logan International Airport on that cold and rainy morning. ALEC brough 18 participants- 9 of which were diagnosed with autism and other related intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The drill was a success, and our participants got to experience what it would be like to exit a plane in the event of an emergency and go through the triage process of emergency medical care and evaluation. The First Responders on the scene also received the invaluable experience of what it would be like to care for people with disabilities in a crisis situation and learned a lot about changing their approach and best meeting the needs of the passengers with disabilities.
After the drill was complete, Massport Fire gave our participants a tour of their Fire House.
Operation Ready 2015 was a HUGE success, and ALEC was a part of that!!!
We thank you for your support of this important program. With your help, ALEC is making sure that people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and other related intellectual and developmental disabilities are prepared and kept safe during crisis situations and that our First Responders who are here to keep all of us safe have the education and knowledge base to best serve our most vulnerable citizens.
update meeting from Massport Chief
ALEC Participants exit the plan during the drill
Jun 29, 2015
By Betsy Roche - Director of Development
With the summer months upon us, The Arc of South Norfolk Family Autism Center's ALEC (Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition) is busy planning and scheduling trainings for First Responders throughout the United States. In June, the Fire, EMS and Police components were updated with current stats on prevelance rates of autism, wandering and elopement stats, as well as success stories regarding our training along with stories that justify our training program and the work we do with ALEC.
Did you know that Autism Spectrum Disorders impact 1 in every 68 births? Did you know that it is almost 5 times more common in boys than girls? Did you know that 20-40% of all people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders also have a seizure disorder? Did you know that nearly half of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders are prone to wandering? Did you know that people with Autism tend to be attracted to water sources, and that accidental drowning accounts for approzimately 90% of lethal outcomes involving wandering?
These are the topics addressed in the ALEC trainings. Presenters teach First Responders how to identify behaviors and characteristics associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders and give them strategies and techniques on how to best handle crisis situations with this special population.
With your continued support, ALEC will train First Responders, AT NO COST TO THE POLICE, FIRE OR EMS AGENCIES RECEIVING THE TRAININGS to better serve the community at large.
ALEC- keeping people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and First Responders safe.
Thank you for being a part of our success! Since we first launched this project in an attempt to raise funds to support ALEC, we have surpassed the 34,000 mark for the number of First Responders we have trained with the ALEC Program. We couldn't have done it without supporters like you!