Search form

CLOSE

Caption

Art By: Raul Mosso

Safety Links

Resources for safeguards in the community

We are advocates for appropriate safety supports as an essential part of increased independence in the community for individuals with developmental disabilities.

There are many resources available for families who wish to strengthen safety safeguards for a family member traveling in the community with or without supervision. Issues addressed are as varied as fear of a family member wandering away to encouraging more independent participation in community based transportation, leisure, shopping, volunteer, and employment opportunities.  The list below provides  examples of resources that might help families in ensuring safety in the community while addressing related concerns and hopes. Current prices and specifications for product examples can be found at the websites listed. For the 2016 status of proposed congressional legislation aimed at funding protections against wandering by vulnerable Americans, see the 2016 Kevin and Avonte’s Law: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2614/text

Arc of Westchester is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of the following linked sites. These links are provided for your convenience only and you access them at your own risk.


Assessment and Personal Training Tools
Find Me Tools -Phones for Active Tracking
  • LIFE 360- (2017 Update)  Free app for GPS tracking through smartphones. Unlike Apple and Android apps below, this free app can be used by an Apple User to track an Android User and vice versa. For user reviews see https://www.amazon.com/Life360-Family-Locator/dp/B00QRG0QF0
  • SMARTPHONE: eg  Apple: ” Find My Phone”; Android-Google: “Family Locator”

Find Me Tools - Wearable GPS Devices
  • ANGELSENSE (2016 Update): GPS Tracker can be used in wearable mode by itself or with clothing designed specifically for children/adults with autism designed by Independence Day Clothing.
  • Pocket Finder - Upgraded as of 2017 from 2g to 3g providing faster refresh times.  - Portable, Wearable. For a 2017 review of similar products see https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-gps-child-trackers,review-2884.html
  • Independence Day Clothing - Wearable -Clothing designed for young adults with autism. An insertable GPS tracker is optional.
  • SMART SOLES: Wearable - GPS enabled insoles allowing for tracking location of wearer by smartphone or computer. Independent reviews of this relatively new product are difficult to find, In  2015 it was approved for reimbursement in California by Medi-Cal. Click here For YOUTUBE presentations of GPS Smart Soles - Click Here  and Click Here
  • Project Lifesaver-  A national program which can track persons of at-risk of wandering by attaching a radio transmitter to their wrist or ankle by way of a plastic or nylon wristband. The battery operated transmitter emits a signal, that can be picked up by a receiver operated by trained and certified public safety officers. In Westchester County this program is available through Westchester County's Department of Community Mental Health. Click Here 
Other Find Me Tools
  • Laminated ID Tools:A basic but essential safety safeguard. Find them at Staples or Office Depot
  • If I Need Help - Alerts people to the need for assistance through wearable labels, tags, pins that provide Emergency info accessed manually or via smart phone scanning of a  personal QR  code. Information can be updated in real time (e.g. current location of family member). A QR Code is a readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.
  • MCAlert.net  A cloud-based communications platform used by communities to send emergency and informational alerts to all or targeted residents. Thousands of text message and email alerts can be sent in seconds, using MCA’s photo and video attachment feature to enhance the effectiveness of alerts. Alerts can be targeted to specific persons. e.g. transportation ion providers. In this system an at risk family member can be preregistered as can persons to receive an alert regarding this person.The Town of Harrison, NY Police currently has a project using this system. (Contact Person: Chief Robrert Marraccini: (914)967-5111) Sign Up Here
  • Door Alarms:Although not strictly speaking a Find Me Tool, a Door and Window Alarms System is utilized by some families as a first line of protection for their family member. An example of such a system is the “Simpli Safe Home Security System”.  For a 2014 review of this system compared to similar systems, Click Here.
First Responder Training
  • Westchester DCMH - In cooperation with the White Plains Police Department, DCMH provides Crisis Intervention training for law enforcement personnel in Westchester County. This training's primary focus is on intervention with persons with a mental health disability.
  • Niagara University - Disability Awareness Training for First Responders.   This training addresses interaction skills for law enforcement and other first responders  in encountering individuals with disabilities, challenges faced and how to overcome them, federal/state guidelines and supports provided, victimization, identifying and working with service providers,  Training can be requested for any region of New York.  Such training was provided to Law Enforcement Personnel in Westchester County on September 26-27, 2016.
  • Autism Risk & Safety Management - A national resource for autism training for law enforcement and emergency responders.  Description of course is offered and currently scheduled training is located on this site.
Other General Websites/Articles of Interest
  • 2017 Personal GPS Reviews - These 2017 reviews rate personal GPS Tracking Devices by product price, contract price, battery life, update interval, tracking software. etc. Click Here and also Click Here.
  • AWARRE Collaboration - This site is specifically dedicated to prevent wandering incidents and deaths within the autism community.
  • TECH TOOLBOX - The Arc's Tech Toolbox is a place to find, share, rate and review technology for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This is a new site and is still being developed. 
  • “NEARLY HALF OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM WANDER FROM SAFETY”. This 2012 article summarizes a study from the journal, PEDIATRICS on the prevalence of wandering among children with autism.  In addition to providing data from the study, the point is made that the term “wandering” is a misnomer since in most cases the person is  purposefully intending to get away or to go somewhere. Pediatrician Paul Law, senior author of the study and director of the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Project emphasizes in a 2013 webinar that the life-threatening nature of such activity makes this not only a family but a community issue. Click Here   A 2017 article from IAN reports on families’experience with various measures to prevent injuries resulting from wandering by their children, Click Here.

Back to Resources and Links Page