Milestones Autism Resources Provides Police Training to First Responders
Posted on 02/20/20 in News by Milestones
CLEVELAND, FEBRUARY 26, 2020 - In February, Milestones Autism Resources partnered with the Warrensville Heights and Garfield Heights Police Departments to provide valuable autism training to first responders.
Milestones Program Director Beth Thompson and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator Salina Miller met with groups of officers over the course of multiple days to teach those in attendance about autism spectrum disorder and provided practical strategies for identifying autism and engaging with self-advocates on the job.
With this training, Milestones believes local police departments will be better equipped to support and effectively engage with individuals on the spectrum.
"Our hope is that first responders here in Cleveland will be able to better identity someone on the autism spectrum and approach those situations more informed," Miller said. "Milestones Autism Resources is constantly working to build a more knowledgeable, inclusive community, so these law enforcement trainings play an important part of our mission."
Individuals on the autism spectrum also provided firsthand accounts to officers, giving input on various topics and recalling past experiences they have had interacting with law enforcement.
in 2017, Milestones convened a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion taskforce made up of staff, Board, autism professionals, parents and community members to develop recommendations for how it could more effectively reach out to, partner with, and focus on minority groups impacted by autism. These diversity initiatives, of which the trainings are a part, is funded by the Cleveland Foundation and Mt Sinai Health Care Foundation. The trainings were also funded in part by the Begun Foundation.
Milestones Autism Resources will continue to provide first responder training throughout 2020, with their next training taking place March 17 for Warrensville Heights schools security officers.
For more information on how Milestones can provide autism education to your team, visit milestones.org or contact us at 216.464.7600.