Model behavior that builds respect and dignity
- Use Person-First language. Use ‘person with a disability’ instead of ‘disabled person’
- See the person as a person first. Remember the disability does not define the person
- Provide information about personal rights in a format that can be easily understood by the person
- Keep the person ‘in the loop’ on what is happening
- Offer choices when the person needs to make a decision
- Use qualified interpreters when the person uses a language you are not fluent in
- Be aware of any negative attitudes, beliefs, or stereotypes you have about people with disabilities. Work to change them.
Ensure individual are supported when they report abuse and/or you suspect abuse
- Understand your agency’s policy on reporting abuse and neglect including any internal investigation process
- Attend training opportunities on abuse and neglect
- Report neglect and abuse. It is not your job to determine if it occurred. It is your job to report it.
- Provide information on victim services. Help the person connect with services if necessary.
In working with the individual’s support system including family members, guardian, and staff
- Help them to be aware of signs of neglect and abuse
- Assist individuals to process and report when neglect or abuse is suspected
- Be open to talk about this issue as well as any caregivers stresses
Help prevent abuse
- Learn about Risk Management and Safety Plan used with individual with disabilities. Ensure that individuals you are serving have a comprehensive health and safety plan that is thorough and accurately reflects the needs of the individual
- Ensure that any Riske Management Plan is thorough and accurately reflects the needs of the individual
- Assist individuals to create a network of support that extends beyond their paid service providers
- Remember that family members, guardians and staff may be offenders and/or protect offenders. Pay attention to what is being said and not said.
- Educate yourself on obstacles unique to individuals with disabilities
- Regularly have conversations about abuse and neglect with co-workers
- Be aware of other types of abuse including bullying, cyber-bulling and intranet risks
To report neglect and abuse, contact the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 884-880- 1574 (toll-free), 24 hours/day, 7 days a week
- Case managers are mandated reporters
- Mandated reporters can make a report online at https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-6303-ENG
For further information or advocacy services, contact The Arc Minnesota at 952-920-0855 or toll-free at 833.450.1494 or visit www.arcminnesota.org. (Please note: This document is not legal advice, and should not be construed as such. Thus, no information herein should replace the sound advice of an attorney.)
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