Did you know that over 6 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s? And did you realize that around 1 in every 44 children in the US have an Autism diagnosis? These are just two examples of cognitive impairments or intellectual disabilities that are far more common than we believe. These conditions as well as other similar diseases can cause confusion, inability to communicate, wandering, and strong emotional responses to stimuli. Individuals diagnosed with such conditions need extra care, particularly in times of crisis or emergency.
We’d like to introduce SafeEncounter, ImageSoft’s newest product. SafeEncounter is designed to assist law enforcement and first responders when they come across an individual in need who struggles to communicate clearly. It’s a user-submitted, digital database that is accessible to officers from their police vehicle computer or mobile phone. Loved ones of vulnerable dependents can create profiles on their behalf that include important information such as physical description, photos, frequently visited locations, medical conditions, triggers, best practices, and emergency contacts. During emergencies, police can search the database to identify the individual and determine the most beneficial course of action to defuse the situation.
SafeEncounter is completely voluntary for citizens to register their dependent. Users have control over which district’s officers are authorized to receive the profile, and edits can be made at any time. Comprehensive information assists police in returning the lost or confused person to their family or caregivers with little to no additional distress or trauma. An individual can be found, identified, and returned home in just minutes, protecting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of all involved.
It is our hope that SafeEncounter makes its way into many districts and states to create an over-reaching network of police communication to better protect communities. When individuals with intellectual disabilities go missing, time is of the essence. When they cannot communicate for themselves to get help, SafeEncounter can speak for them. The more states that use SafeEncounter, the easier cross-district communication will become, greatly improving the odds of quickly locating and bringing home a wandering individual. We hope to see SafeEncounter as a staple in law enforcement to protect the most at-risk members of the community.
Though customizable, the idea of SafeEncounter stems from the high wandering and elopement rates of people with conditions such as:
- Down’s Syndrome
- Severe Bipolar Disorder
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Non-Verbal Communication Styles
- And More
This product is truly a passion project, as many ImageSoft team members are personally affected by any number of these conditions. Whether it’s a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, a niece with Down’s Syndrome, or a sibling with Autism, we can all relate to the product. We believe it is a gamechanger that will improve understanding about mental health problems and cognitive impairments, as well as, positively impact the community/police relationship. Officers want the best for all individuals, and SafeEncounter can help them provide the best care.
We are thrilled to finally launch SafeEncounter and we encourage you to visit safeencounter.org to learn more. Our team is currently offering custom demos of the technology, featuring a walk-through of both the user view and the police view. For information about a live system, check out the featured Press Release from The Village of Palatine, Illinois.
Disability and Safety: Information on Wandering
As medical testing becomes more sophisticated, more children across the United States are being diagnosed with cognitive disabilities earlier in life. Autism, in particular, is being more accurately diagnosed, allowing parents to begin proper safety preparations as soon as possible. Children with intellectual disabilities can be prone to wandering, resulting in them getting lost. The CDC has a resource page dedicated to wandering behavior that includes some important resources to help protect vulnerable children.
A Community Database for Vulnerable Dependents
My grandfather (whom we call Pop) suffers from Dementia. He’s had it for several years now, and though medication is slowing the process, his decline has been steady. As many Dementia patients do, Pop gets extremely frustrated and upset when he encounters a situation where his memory fails him. A majority of people are close to someone similar to my Pop – a vulnerable person suffering with cognitive impairment or disease, a severe mental health crisis, or an intellectual disability. For many of these conditions, wandering is a probable and prevalent side effect.
To improve the ability of first responding officers to handle situations involving these vulnerable people, ImageSoft created SafeEncounter, a community database that helps law enforcement identify at-risk dependents and bring them home safely.
An Introduction to SafeEncounter
Introducing SafeEncounter, a digital community database that logs records of vulnerable dependents for officers to refer to on the scene. SafeEncounter is voluntary and user-submitted and is accessible only to authorized districts and police forces. Family and loved ones can register their dependent and build a profile that includes physical descriptions, photos, medical history, emergency contacts, and special notes for deescalating situations. SafeEncounter is accessible on-the-go in police vehicles for real-time identification and conflict resolution.
In this episode, join ImageSoft’s CEO, Scott Bade, as he delves into the basics of SafeEncounter with Julian Vataj, Solution Architect.
Village of Palatine, IL Implement Community Safety Database
The Village of Palatine, Illinois has recently launched SafeEncounter in conjunction with ImageSoft. SafeEncounter is a community database designed to help first responders identify dependents with cognitive impairments, disabilities, and other communication issues that may prevent them from providing important information in times of crisis. Officers can search by location or physical description and will be provided with care recommendations as well as emergency contact information.
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