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Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition

by The Arc of South Norfolk
Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition
Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition
Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition
Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition

With the New Year upon us, we are busy planning trainings for the next 6 months.  We are excited to report that we have made steady gains in the area of training police officers, and have regularly scheduled trainings with the following agencies:

  • Springfield Police
  • Boston Police
  • Boston EMS
  • MBTA Police
  • South Suburban Police Institute 
  • State Police Recruits
  • West Boylston Police Academy
  • Western MA Police Academy
  • Randolph Police Academy
  • North Reading Police Academy
  • Suffolk County Sheriff's Office

We hope to continue to expand upon our police program in 2017 and are proud of the progress we have made.  Thanks to your support, we offer trainings at these locations to police officers at no charge to the department or general public!  


On March 11th, Program Coordinator, Bill Cannata, will present on safety for people diagnosed with Autism and how to best prepare for an emergency situation at the Current Trends In Autism Conference.  This is a nationally accredited 3-day conference in Boston and we are excited that ALEC will be a part of it!

ALEC will be traveling to Florida in February to present in Pensacola to Fire, Police, EMS and TSA.  ALEC has been invited to Pensacola for several years now to present to local area First Responders.  

We are grateful for your support, and look forward to expanding the ALEC Program to additional states in 2017.  

Thank you for your support!

We are excited to report that we are now up and running, hosting trainings for Mobile Crisis Units around The Commonwealth of Massachusetts!  These crisis units respond to emergency situations throughout the state and are funded by The Department of Mental Health.  These programs reached out to ALEC and requested our training so they could better support people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders in emergency situations.  Our plan is to train each and every mobile crisis team over the course of the next couple of years- a lofty goal we know we can achieve with the help and support of you, our donors!

The goal of ALEC is to make the community safer and provide supports to First Responders to best meet the needs of people with autism in an emergency situation.  Our training provides First Responders with the basic strategies to ensure the safety of people with autism when they encounter First Responders.  We are proud to say we have now trained over 36,000 First Responders with our program, and our numbers continue to grow. 

The following is a list of trainings we have hosted in September, as well as our schedule for the next couple of months:


Boston EMS, Massport Fire Department, Mass National Guard Military Police, Milford Mobile Crisis Unit, Pittsfield Mobile Crisis Unit, Massachusetts Police Training Committee in Reading and Randolph, Newton Wellesley Hospital Nurses, Somerville Crisis Intervention Team


Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, New Bedford Mobile Crisis Team, Greenwich, CT Parent Training, Glenham NY Fire Department, Georgia- 4 regional fire trainings in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton MA


Andover Crisis Intervention Team, Monticello, NY First Resonders, Weston PD, Rhode Island Parent Training in Cranston, Statewide First Responder Training in Cranston, RI


West Palm Beach Florida Police, NERPI Police Academy


We are grateful for your support, and thank you for donating to our training program, enabling us to expand and continue with our mission to keep everyone safe!

ALEC training in RI at ASA-RI conference
ALEC training in RI at ASA-RI conference

Thank you for supporting the ALEC Program at The Arc of South Norfolk!

These past few months have been busy ones for the ALEC team!  We have surpassed the 35,000 mark for the number of First Responders who have been trained with the ALEC curriculum.  We are very excited to report this, as we look to expand our program outside the borders of New England in 2017.

On June 30th, we closed our fiscal year and are happy to report that over the past year, ALEC has expanded within Massachusetts and has established several new collaborations with the First Response community.

We have secured a training spot with the mobile crisis units throughout the state to train their staff who are called upon during an emergency situation.  These staff will now have specific training relative to autism spectrum disorders that will help them assist families in crisis.  

We have reestablished our trainings with the Massachusetts State Police Academies, and just last week trained over 150 State Police recruits throughout the state.  We are excited that each new recruit entering the Massachusetts State Police will now have ALEC training to help them handle emergency situations that involve someone diagnosed with autism.

Over the summer months, ALEC will be looking to start an initiative with Boston EMS, local Police and Fire Departments and the mobile crisis units to compile data and outcomes of our model.  With this data, we can show exactly how effective our program continues to be for the First Response community and for people diagnosed with autism.

We will continue to pursue funding on a larger scale, as states throughout the US are requesting ALEC trainings.  We greatly appreciate the support you have given to our program.  Thank you for your generosity!

ALEC presenting at MA Autism Awareness Day
ALEC presenting at MA Autism Awareness Day

We would like to thank you for supporting our ALEC (Autism & Law Enforcement Education Coalition) Program through our GlobalGiving intitative!  Even with snow falling here in Massachusetts, we are well underway with our spring trainings for First Responders.  Our trainers will be presenting in Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Canada over the course of the next three weeks.

April is Autism Awareness month, so it tends to be a very busy time for us here at The Arc of South Norfolk.  Representatives from The ALEC Program will be presenting at the Annual Massachusetts State House Autism Awareness Day on Thursday, April 7th from 10am-12pm.  We are excited to be a part of this important program, and to help spread the word about how crucial training for First Responders is for our community.

Over the course of the next several months, we will be looking for funds to help provide trainings in Georgia, Arizona and Utah.  These states have reached out to us and requested trainings for their states.  With support from you, we will be able to fund these training initiatives and help better prepare First Responders across the country for emergency situations involving people diagnosed with Autism.

It is the mission of ALEC to promote awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders within the First Response community.  By the end of 2016, we hope to hit the 40,000 mark for First Responders trained with our curriculum.  

Thank you for your continued support!

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!


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Organization Information

The Arc of South Norfolk

Location: Westwood, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @arcsouthnorfolk
Project Leader:
Betsy Roche
Westwood, MA United States
$4,971 raised of $10,000 goal
129 donations
$5,029 to go
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