First Responder Disability Awareness Training Program Receives State Award

June 10, 2014  |  by Michael Freedman

  • FRDAT Award

    Wendy Orzel, chair of the DDPC Consumer Caucus, and Lisa Rosano, chair of the DDPC's Children’s Issues Committee, present the 2014 Forging Pathways Award to FRDAT project director David Whalen and Dr. Tim Ireland, dean of Niagara University's College of Arts and Sciences.

  • Tim Ireland

    Dr. Tim Ireland, dean of Niagara University's College of Arts and Sciences, addresses the audience during the the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council's awards luncheon on May 29.

The Niagara University First Responder Disability Awareness Training program received the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council 2014 Forging Pathways Award during an awards luncheon on May 29 in Saratoga, N.Y.

The purpose of the Forging Pathways Grantee Recognition Program is to recognize and reward extraordinary quality, creativity, innovation, and success in DDPC funded grants.

In September 2010, Niagara University was the only institution awarded a $550,000 grant from the DDPC to develop and conduct a statewide disability awareness and sensitivity curriculum and the corresponding training tools for first responders.

The grant, which has since been extended, allows project director David Whalen to facilitate the establishment of a First Responder Disability Awareness Training program at Niagara University, which provides training throughout New York state.

The program is customized for each first responder discipline – emergency management, firefighters, 911 operators/dispatchers, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement. Created in cooperation with all major first responder associations, councils and state offices, the training is designed to give first responders the knowledge necessary to best serve and respond to individuals with disabilities. Other states have also inquired about the program.

For more information, please call 716.286.7355 or visit http://frdat.niagara.edu.