Another state has signed up to bring Niagara University’s First Responders Disability Awareness Training program to its law enforcement officials and emergency personnel.

This time, it’s Virginia.

A $206,000 grant awarded by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, and the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services will allow NU FRDAT to deliver its customized training program in its fifth state.

In addition, NU FRDAT project director David Whalen will develop standalone curricula for Virginia law enforcement officials who respond to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, mental health crises, dementia, and acquired brain injury.

The program will begin this fall.

Niagara University’s First Responders Disability Awareness Training program is customized for each first responder discipline – 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.

Established in 2010, NU FRDAT has previously contracted in various capacities in New York, Arkansas, Missouri and New Jersey.

Additional information can be found at or by calling 716.286.7355.