Safety for the Disabled
Safety For the Disabled
Disabled persons face many physical challenges. This could make them vulnerable to would-be assailants who assume the disabled are incapable of protecting themselves.
Look Out for Yourself
- Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings, whether on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, or waiting for a bus.
- Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going.
- Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
- Know the neighborhood where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, restaurants, or stores that are open and accessible.
- Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Most of us have daily routines, but never varying them may increase your vulnerability to crime.
- Put good locks on all your doors. Sturdy deadbolt locks are best. Make sure you can easily use the locks you install.
- Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is especially important if you use a wheelchair.
- Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you as well as themselves are a frontline defense against crime.
- If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message (giving your name, address, and type of disability) to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder next to your phone.
Out and About
- If possible, go with a friend.
- Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through vacant lots, wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket. If you use a wheelchair, keep your purse or wallet tucked snugly between you and the inside of the chair.
- If you use a knapsack, make sure it is securely closed.
- Always carry your medical information in case of an emergency.
- Consider installing a cellular phone or CB radio in your vehicle.
Before You Go On Vacation
- Plan ahead. If you’re traveling by car, get maps and plan your route. Have the car checked before you leave.
- Leave copies of the numbers of your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and traveler’s checks with a close friend or relative in case you need to replace these papers.
- Put lights and a radio on timers to create the illusion that someone is at home while you’re away. Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. Ask neighbors to pick up your mail and other deliveries.
Don’t Let a Con Artist Rip You Off
Many con artists prey on people’s desires to find miracle cures for chronic conditions and fatal diseases. To out-smart those con artists, remember these tips:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t let greed or desperation overcome common sense.
- Get a second opinion.
Be wary of high-pressure tactics, need for quick decisions, demands for cash only, or high-yield low-risk investments.