Advocating for Reform in Society

By Krystian Shaw



In the States, they have a DVD out called “Be safe the movie”.

It is a training DVD that teaches police and those with all kinds of disabilities to work together.

Many people are alarmed by how many developmentally delayed people have been mishandled by police, mostly in the States, in some instances to the point of someone dying needlessly.

If police lack understanding of the situation they’re dealing with at the time, mistakes will happen.

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to interact with the police so everyone can be safe and on the same page.

This offline program also helps educate the police and people with all kinds of diverse abilities. Fear can make a person run or even fight.

The police are trained to run after you and if you fight, they are taught to fight back and win.

That’s how deaths can happen. So caregivers need to teach those with diverse abilities the importance of not running or fighting and to do what the police tell them to do.

They also need to be taught to say they don’t understand their rights and they want a lawyer. In that way, they don’t end up false confessing.

This DVD teaches this and as a result, creates a positive relationship between the police and those with challenges.


There needs to be a program similar in Canada too. Police techniques are different in the states and their reactions to things might be different than how the police react in Canada.

The DVD also emphasizes more on those with Autism, which advocates here in BC have expressed they don’t like that since not everyone has Autism. Emphases should be on all disabilities.

So I think it’s important to bring a similar program to Canada, stressing Canadian laws, which adds familiarity to those with challenges.


There are workshops where the police show you what they carry on their belt such as their gun, a taser and hand cuffs.

Then the police stress the importance of not grabbing for those items.

In this way all feel comfortable with each other and know how to react so situations with the police are less fearful. This would be good to do in Canada too.


I really want to see a similar movie come to BC as soon as possible to train police and all those with challenges.

I would like to see this become mandatory to train police on our needs and issues.

I have been advocating for recommendations for change and to transform the justice system and to train everyone who works in the justice system, not just police.

I also told them self advocates should have a training center so they can have a central role in the training.

There should be nothing about us without us as we like to say in the field.


I want to tell Self Advocates, there might be a Training Center so we can learn to teach Police, Security guards, Nurses, Hospital staff, Health authorities and so many public sector employees, and contractors.

I also told the BC Human rights engagement people to create a video based on our laws and educational information, to give training on best practices for dealing with People with Developmental Disabilities and their families who are served by Community Living BC. Self Advocates should take a central role to educate all professionals.

I also said there should be training for self advocates to know how to interact with police. I also said there should be stronger teeth in the legislation and in the policies.


I have been bringing up the fact that everyone needs more skills and knowledge.

I also said there should be a voluntary disability database for people with special needs or developmental disabilities or any disabilities so the police can know how to help us if we need to be arrested or ambulance or fire and rescue.

So we can be provided with accommodations on our needs and issues. I also said there should be true community inclusion.

My ideas would benefit everyone not just self advocates. I know not everything can be done over night. I just want our safety and well-being taken into consideration


Help build B.C.’s new Human Rights Commission.

Welcome to the B.C. Human Rights Commission engagement site. Here, you can share your stories, ideas and concerns … Let them know we need to develop a similar DVD for Canadians and to put it on Youtube. And we need the same hands on training that they give in the States too. But it costs money for this to happen.

The more this training is requested, the more chance it will come to Canada. So please advocate for this much needed training.



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Krystian Shaw

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