|A physical disability - impaired vision,
hearing, or mobility - doesn't prevent you from being a victim
of crime. Common sense actions can reduce your risk.
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 or subway. 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. Police
recommend deadbolt locks in conjunction with high security
strike plates, but 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
Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out
for you as well as themselves are a frontline defense against
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.
Ask your police
department to conduct a free home security survey and to help
identify your individual needs.
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. Stop mail and deliveries or ask a neighbor to take
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.
Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to
return. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the
straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants 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 shut. Always carry your
medical information, in case of an emergency. Consider
installing a cellular phone or CB radio in your vehicle.
ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Use well-lighted, busy
stops. Stay near other passengers. Stay alert. Don't doze or
daydream! If someone harasses you, make a loud noise or say
"Leave me alone!" If that doesn't work, hit the emergency
signal on the bus or train. Sit close to the driver and
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 outsmart these con artists,
remember these tips:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don't let greed or desperation overcome common
- Get a second opinion.
- Be wary of high-pressure tactics, need for quick
decisions, demands for cash only, or high yield low-risk
TAKE A STAND!
Join, or help organize, a
Neighborhood Watch group. Make sure their meetings are
accessible to people with disabilities.
do they need a sign language interpreter? Can individuals who
use walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs enter the meeting place?
Work with local law enforcement to improve responses to all
victims or witnesses of crime. Role-play how people with
disabilities can handle threatening situations. Work with a
rehabilitation center or advocacy groups to offer a
presentation to schools and other community organizations on
the needs and concerns of individuals with