Improving Community Safety Together, Part 1: Considerations for Interactions between First Responders and People with Intellectual and Development Disabilities

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Improving Community Safety Together, Part 1: Considerations for Interactions between First Responders and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities presented by Shannon Benaitis, PHR from Albatross Training Solutions on Friday, March 26, 2021 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.


Overview of IDD for Community/First Responders

  • Introduction:  Social Service & IDD Support agencies
  • Why this training?  Why now?
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Characteristics, Strengths, Challenges, Support Needs
  • Mental Health Needs of Folks with IDD:  Prevalence of Dual Diagnosis, Unique Challenges and Support Implications
  • Suggestions for Supportive Approach and Productive Interaction: Communication, Body/Face, Surroundings, Audio/Visual
  • Things to Keep in Mind:  Previous Interactions, Traumatic Experiences, Treatment History/Hospitalizations, Considerations for Disability Intersection with: Race, Culture, Ethnicity, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Housing Insecurity, Immigration Status
  • Q&A from audience | Q&A for the audience:  What one thing will you do differently regarding your approach/interaction beginning tomorrow?

 Bio: Shannon Benaitis has been working in social services for 20 years. She has experience working with adults and children with both intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental illness and has worked in jobs ranging from direct support staff to department director.
Currently, Shannon is a consultant and independent contractor for her company, Albatross Training Solutions.  She brings her experience in IDD, mental health, ICF/long-term care, CILA, and home-based services to the classroom and the conference room, where she strives to make training, meetings, and projects dynamic, enjoyable, and relevant.  Albatross specializes in content development, script-writing, and instructional design for both in-person and e-learning formats.

Shannon’s areas of expertise include staff training, human resources, mental health and dual diagnosis, aging issues, and rules and regulations.  Interests include anti-racism work and disability education for First Responders. She excels at public speaking opportunities, interactive workshops, and train the trainer projects.  Shannon has a master’s degree in Social & Criminal Justice from Lewis University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in English from Cornell College.  She is Professional in Human Resources-certified, a happily married stepmom to three awesome humans, a service dog mom to Gordon, and a lupus patient. 

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