Document Sample
					          A Message from
              As a law enforcement officer,
              you have pledged to ensure
              the safety of Illinois resi-                LISA MADIGAN
              dents. While carrying out this              Illinois Attorney General
              important work, you may be
              faced with unique issues
              when interacting with people     DISABILITY RIGHTS BUREAU
who are blind or visually impaired as vic-
tims, perpetrators, and witnesses.                                 CHICAGO
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act                    100 West Randolph Street
(ADA), persons who are blind or visually                      Chicago, Illinois 60601
impaired are entitled to the same services                        1-312-814-5684
law enforcement provides to anyone else.                       TTY: 1-800-964-3013
They may not be excluded or segregated
from services, denied services, or other-
wise treated differently than other people.                     SPRINGFIELD
                                                             500 South Second Street
To guarantee the rights of people whose
                                                             Springfield, Illinois 62706
disability affects vision, we must make
every effort to ensure effective communi-                         1-217-524-2660
cation. Law enforcement agencies, there-                       TTY: 1-877-844-5461
fore, are required to make reasonable
modifications to policies, practices, and
procedures as needed to accommodate
those who are blind or have a visual
I commend you for your continued work
to safeguard Illinoisans and hope that you
find the information in this brochure help-
                                               This project was supported by Grant # 2004-DB-BX-0043, awarded by the
ful as you work with people who are blind      Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of
or visually impaired.                          Justice, through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Points of
                                               view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and
                                               do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S.
                                               Department of Justice, or the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

                                               Printed by authority of the State of Illinois. 03/08.10M.C08-688
              Lisa Madigan                     This material is available in alternate format upon request.

             Attorney General
The Rights of Persons Who Are Blind or              • Do not label or define people by their                Tips for Positive and Effective Interactions
Visually Impaired                                     impairment. For example, refer to the per-            with Guide Dog Users and Guide Dogs
It is important for law enforcement officers to       son as "a woman who is visually impaired"             When interacting with someone who uses a
respect the rights of people who are blind or         rather than "a blind woman."                          guide dog, remember these basic guidelines:
visually impaired. Some of those rights             • Pay attention to your tone.                           • Never pet a guide dog without permission.
include:                                              o Do not speak loudly. Most people who                • Guide dogs are working animals, not pets.
• The right to have printed materials provided           are blind or visually impaired hear well.            Guide dogs are specifically trained to per-
   in an alternate format, including large print,     o Avoid pitying or talking down to a person             form certain tasks, and are also bred and
   audiotape, compact disc, computer diskette,           who is blind.                                        trained to be socialized and non-aggressive.
   and Braille, upon request.                                                                               • Guide dogs must accompany their compan-
• The right to have effective communication         The Rights of Guide Dog Users                             ions at all times. Therefore, an attack on a
   with law enforcement officers in their           Many persons with visual                                  guide dog can have the same effect as an
   communities.                                     impairments have guide                                    assault on its companion. These guide dogs
                                                    dogs. These dogs are                                      must receive the same protection and
Tips for Positive and Effective Interactions        trained working animals,                                  respect as their companions.
with Persons Who Are Blind or Visually              and both the animals and
Impaired                                            their companions have                                   Important Laws Regarding Persons Who
• Initiate contact and identify yourself.           important rights:                                       Are Blind or Visually Impaired
  o Introduce yourself immediately as a law         • The Illinois White Cane                               • Americans With Disabilities Act,
     enforcement officer and have others who           Law and Guide                                          42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
     are present introduce themselves as well.         Dog Access Act make it a                             • Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1
  o Offer your name, your badge number, and            misdemeanor to deny a person with a guide            • Guide Dog Access Act, 720 ILCS 630/1
     the telephone number of your dispatcher,          dog or service animal access to any public           • Illinois White Cane Law, 775 ILCS 30
     and support the individual in verifying           accommodation, including restaurants,                • Assistance Animal Damages Act,
     your identity.                                    stores, medical facilities, and government             510 ILCS 70/4.03
• Avoid lapses in conversation during your             buildings.                                           • Illinois Vehicle Code - Pedestrian
  interview without informing victims why           • In Illinois, it is illegal to abuse or kill service     Right-of-Way, 625 ILCS 5, Section 1-177
  you are silent.                                      animals. This includes guide dogs.
  o Express attentiveness, concern, and com-           510 ILCS 70/4.03-04.
     passion through your voice and choice of       • A person with a guide dog or service animal
     words.                                            may recover civil penalties if someone
  o Offer to fill out forms and read written           injures or in any way impairs the ability of
     information aloud for victims. Be sure to         the guide dog or service animal to provide
     explain all printed materials and make            services. 740 ILCS 13/10.
     those materials available in alternative
     format upon request.
• Be sure to orient individuals to their sur-
  roundings as you walk with them.