Safety for the Disabled

Disabled persons face many challenges. This could make them appear to be vulnerable to assailants who assume they cannot protect themselves. By taking a few basic precautions, you can increase your safety as well as your confidence in the safety of your surroundings.

Look Out for Yourself

  • Stay alert and tuned into your surroundings.
  • Send the message that you are calm, confident, and know where you are going.
  • Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
  • Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Know where police and fire stations are, the locations of public telephones, and pubic places and businesses that are open and accessible.
  • Avoid falling into routine, predictable patterns. Varying your daily activity may reduce your vulnerability to crime.

Home Security

  • Put good locks on your doors. Deadbolt locks are best, but make sure you can easily reach and use the locks you install.
  • Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is important if you use a wheel chair.
  • The most secure entry doors have no glass windows in them. A second best choice would be doors with glass only at the top and with small panes.
  • Know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you and themselves are a frontline defense against crime.
  • If you have difficulty speaking have a friend record a message (giving your name address and disability) to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder close to the phone.

Out and About

  • Go with a friend or group if possible.
  • Avoid shortcuts or routes you are unfamiliar with. Stay to well lighted, well traveled streets if you are in unfamiliar territory.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Carry purses close to the body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket. If you use a wheel chair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.
  • If you use a backpack, make sure it is securely closed at all times.
  • Always carry your medical information in case of an emergency. This should include your, name, address, contact person (friend or relative), your doctor, and any current medications. Remember this document will need to speak for you if you are not able to.
  • Consider carrying a cell phone when you are not at home for any emergency or so that others may check on you.