A cornerstone of BPI is its training curricula. Originally developed to address the need for joint training of law enforcement and adult protection to better respond to abuse and crimes against persons with a disability, BPI has expanded its training to include persons with a disability, prosecutors and victim advocates, service providers, medical and court personnel, and others. Thousands of persons have been trained throughout Massachusetts, across the United States and from several countries.
Education and training are the key to reducing, and in some cases, preventing crime. As a result of BPI trainings, Massachusetts has seen a significant increase in the successful recognition, report, investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against persons with a disability. In addition, BPI Steering Committee members continue to develop and adapt trainings to identified needs.
BPI offers the following trainings on an ongoing basis:
- Adult Protective Services (APS) Investigators Trainings: A basic APS investigation training and a forty (40) hour sexual assault training
- New Recruit Training: A half-day training for every municipal police recruit on his/her role, and that of adult protection, in recognizing, reporting and investigating crimes against victims with a disability. Adults with Disabilities and the Criminal Justice System
- State Police Long Distance Learning: An online training, through the Massachusetts State Police online training academy, mandated for state police officers in Massachusetts and accessible to municipal officers and adult protective service investigators. Reporting and Investigating Crimes Committed Against Persons with Disabilities
- Service Provider Training: A half or full-day train-the-trainer program that incorporates multimedia productions to educate professionals who provide services to persons with a disability on recognizing, reporting and responding to crimes committed against persons with a disability. In Massachusetts, service providers are required to receive training. This service provider training was developed to help satisfy the requirements of mandated training. BPI created, and provides to an attendee for use at each respective agency, a video and manual to educate and test professionals who provide services to persons with a disability on recognizing, reporting and responding to abuse and crimes against persons with a disability. Protect, Report, Preserve: Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities
- Persons with a Disability Training: A three (3) hour training to educate persons with a disability entitled, Awareness and Action: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Abuse. Through funding provided by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), BPI partnered with Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS) and persons with a disability to develop a training curriculum that incorporates a variety of teaching methods, including video, lectures, power point, team exercises and group discussions, and is taught by persons with a disability and others. In addition, with Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) Byrne funding, an interactive educational tool was developed to complement the training. Using color-coded cards and images, the tool is used by trainers with a disability to elicit discussion from persons with a disability on types of abuse and how to recognize, report and respond to abuse. Awareness and Action – Educating Persons with Disabilities to Recognize, Report and Respond to Abuse
- Court Personnel Guide: A practical guide for court personnel on the reporting, investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against persons with a disability. Developed by BPI, in partnership with Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and distributed to all courts in the Commonwealth, the purpose of the guide is to educate court personnel on issues unique to cases involving persons with a disability. Crimes Against Persons with Disabilities – A Practical Guide to the Reporting, Investigation and Prosecution
Other BPI trainings include:
- Tier 1 Joint Training – A full-day joint training for law enforcement and adult protective service investigators. BPI, in partnership with district attorneys, has created a training to address issues unique to cases involving crimes committed against persons with a disability. Hosted in a district attorney’s jurisdiction, the topics are tailored to the specific issues that prosecutors, law enforcement and adult protective investigators face in their respective jurisdiction. Crimes Against Persons with Disabilities: Making Your Case
- BPI Statewide Conferences – A 2017 conference for prosecutors, law enforcement, adult protective service investigators, victim witness advocates, first responders, emergency medical personnel and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) to increase the effective recognition, report, investigation and prosecution of crimes committed against persons with a disability. The conference featured Guest Speaker James W. Hopper, PhD, who presented a half-day training on Sexual Assault: Brain, Experience, Behavior and Memory. Dr. James Hopper is an independent consultant and Teaching Associate in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. For over 25 years, Dr. Hopper’s research, clinical and consulting work has focused on the psychological and biological effects of sexual assault, child abuse and other traumatic experiences. In his forensic work, he testifies on short and long-term impacts of sexual assault and child abuse. Dr. Hopper teaches nationally and internationally to, among others, prosecutors, law enforcement and military investigators, judges and victim advocates. Other training topics included, effectively interviewing/communicating with a victim with a disability, how Adult Protective Services (APS) can help law enforcement in investigations and understanding witness competency in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Investigations of Crimes Against Victims with a Disability: Unique Aspects and Strategies
- Sexual Assault and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Adaptations to Treatment – A training, developed by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, Department of Public Health and Riverside Trauma Center for clinicians interested in working with persons with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (I/DD) who have experienced sexual assault. Persons with I/DD experience sexual abuse at much higher rates than others and, after potentially traumatic events, experience the same trauma symptoms as others. The training, the result of collaborative work between Riverside Trauma Center and the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Rape Crisis Centers in Massachusetts, provides information to behavioral health clinicians on how to adapt trauma-focused treatment to meet the needs of people with I/DD and adapt forms of behavioral treatment for people with I/DD to meet the needs of sexual assault survivors.
- Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities (BPI) Replication Guide A Replication Guide that describes the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI) in Massachusetts. It is a guide of recommended practices, modeled on the Massachusetts BPI, to develop, implement and successfully maintain a multidisciplinary partnership to address abuse and crimes committed against persons with a disability. It is intended for use by law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, adult protection and human service workers, and others who have responsibility for the safety and protection of persons with a disability who are victims of crime.
- Criminal Statutes – A handout containing a list and description of crimes which, when committed against a person with a disability, have enhanced penalties. These include Assault & Battery, Indecent Assault & Battery, Larceny and Alternative Procedures for Determining Competency of Witnesses.
- RCC Guidelines – A set of guidelines was developed for Massachusetts Comprehensive Rape Crisis Centers (RCCs) entitled, Working with Survivors with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, to address issues, such as guardianship, the presence of third parties and necessary accommodations for persons with a disability. In October 2015, with funding from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission, in partnership with the Department of Public Health, Riverside Community Care, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong, Hampden District Attorney’s Office, Victim’s Rights Law Center, Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, Jane Doe Inc., Office of the Attorney General Victim Compensation and Assistance Division and other stakeholders came together to build and enhance relationships to improve access to trauma-informed services for sexual assault survivors with an intellectual and/or developmental disability. In addition, the guidelines were designed to assist RCCs in working with survivors with I/DD to address their needs and accommodations and to encourage RCC staff to use the skills they already possess to serve all survivors, including those with I/DD. The guidelines were intended as a starting point to help RCCs create protocols that would best suit their particular agencies.
- Patty’s Story – Patty Quatieri Survivor Story Video – A 14-minute video of a self-advocate and rape survivor, Patty Quatieri speaking about her challenges and recovery from her trauma. Ms. Quatieri is an accomplished presenter in the field of disability rights. As a self-advocate for Mass Advocates Standing Strong, she was one of the first self-advocates to be on the Steering Committee for the Explore-Prepare-Act (EPA) training. She has been on several committees, including the DDS Advisory Board and the NEAT Project. In addition, she served as a consultant to the ACL Project providing insight about better communication with survivors who have ID/D. In 2017, Ms. Quatieri received both the MOVA Award at the Massachusetts Victim Rights Conference and the Joanne Otto Distinguished Service Award 2017 from the National Adult Protective Service Association (NAPSA). She currently serves as a Peer Support leader with the newly formed Sexual Assault Response Unit (SARU) at the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission.
At a moment of reckoning in the United States about sexual harassment and sexual assault, a yearlong NPR investigation finds that there’s little recognition of a group of Americans that is one of the most at risk: adults with intellectual disabilities. Print and radio stories (with photos and art) may be found online. The series includes:
- Morning Edition: Correspondent Joe Shapiro talks about the series with host Steve Inskeep.
- All Things Considered: The epidemic of sexual abuse of people with intellectual disabilities. Numbers obtained by NPR show they are sexually assaulted at rates more than 7 times those for all adults without disabilities.
- Morning Edition: A visit to a Sex Ed class for people with intellectual disabilities. They talk about how they want relationships, but how the sexual violence of their past often gets in the way.
- All Things Considered: On cases that go unnoticed when people have difficulty communicating.
- All Things Considered: Police and prosecutors are often reluctant to take these cases. NPR goes back to Essex County, New Jersey, where the first prosecution to get widespread attention happened 25 years ago in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to look at what prosecutors have since learned.
- Morning Edition: Therapists Nora Baladerian and Karyn Harvey talk about the stunning violence in the lives of their clients.
- All things Considered: Self-advocates thoughtfully speak of the effects of sexual violence. This piece is entirely in the voices of people with intellectual disabilities (plus Joe Shapiro).
Sexual Assault & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Learning Collaboratives –
A multidisciplinary effort involving the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC), Mass Advocates Standing Strong (MASS), Department of Public Health (DPH), Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE), Massachusetts Rape Crisis Centers (RCCs), Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC), Attorney General’s Office of Victim Compensation, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and Department of Mental Health (DMH). The objective of DPPC’s Sexual Assault Response Unit Learning Collaboratives is to enhance access to victim trauma services for persons with an intellectual and/or developmental disability via regional multidisciplinary teams. To promote collaboration and a sense of partnership, meetings rotate at locations around Massachusetts. Topics for discussion range from large group case analysis to didactic teaching by national experts. Each partner agency has a designated Regional Liaisons who represents their organization at the Collaboratives. Each meeting is limited to 25-30 participants to enhance team building and accessibility.
Learning Collaborative Outreach Events:
- Sexual Assault of Persons with an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability: How to Empower and Support Recovery A full-day, multidisciplinary BPI training, with DPPC support received from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), Riverside Community Care, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (Boston Area RCC), Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (MASS) and other stakeholders. Training topics included:
- Why adults with I/DD are at particularly high risk for sexual assault
- Introduction to intellectual/developmental disabilities
- Introduction to sexuality of adults with I/DD
- The neuro-physiology of trauma
- Regional services provided by Massachusetts RCCs
- Addressing challenges to effectively serve adults with I/DD
- Learning and practicing concrete skills (including learning three ways in which sexual assault impacts survivors with I/DD, three accommodations/modifications to existing state-funded services to help meet the needs of survivors with I/DD and the names, contact information and available state-funded victim services for persons with I/DD in each geographic area)
- Team building exercises: Regional Sexual Assault Liaisons (Regional team building includes introductions of liaisons within DDS, DPPC, RCCs and the Awareness & Action [A&A] program)