The project and its objectives
For people on the autism spectrum, learning how to interact with first responders is critical. It is, also, just as essential for first responders (police officers, firefighters, and medical emergency/ambulance workers) to understand autism and be prepared to respond effectively and safely to situations involving people on the spectrum.
First responders are seven times more likely to come in contact with an autistic person but evidence shows that they are not adequately trained to recognize and respond to them in appropriate ways. These facts show how important it is for first responders to have sufficient understanding of autism, how it may present in a person, and how to best handle incidents involving such a person.
The ALERRT project promotes autism awareness among first responders and the development of mutual trust between autistic people and their families, and first responders.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To deliver training courses to VET trainers and first responders which will equip them with the necessary skills and strategies to support and interact with people on the autism spectrum.
- To design, test and launch an innovative training package for VET trainers who will be training the first responders.
- To help families and caregivers of autistic people connect with first responders so that they can develop mutual understanding and trust.