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The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) held a specialized training at the Municipal Police Training Committee’s Randolph Police Academy to thirty-three law enforcement officers from 15 municipal police departments, Bunker Hill College and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. MCDHH explored some of the myths, communication and cultural differences of deaf and hard of hearing people to help officers when interacting with this population.

This law enforcement specific training curriculum covered general demographics, deaf culture and communication preferences, including understanding Deaf versus Hard of Hearing and how that might help better understand communication preferences. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what that means for law enforcement. Communication realities for emergencies, including availability of  interpreters and other auxiliary aids and services.

Case studies/Best Practices specific to Law Enforcement

  • Behaviors that may be mistaken for aggression or defiance
  • Traffic Stops – Visor Card
  • Arrests – handcuffing, booking, phone call, interrogation
  • Requesting an interpreter (both scheduled and emergency)
  • Gestures
  • Proactive steps in integrating Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals into your emergency planning

The Municipal Police Training Committee will be hosting Effective Interaction with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing delivered by MCDHH at MPTC Police Academies. To register please visit our website for scheduled training opportunities in your area.


The content of this Blog provided by MCDHH. Photograph provided by Lisa Ann Reich, MPTC Veteran Officer Program Coordinator





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