Children’s Specialty Hospital Launches New Website and Resource Center to Advance Safety Education for People with Disabilities

New Brunswick, NJ, October 21, 2022Children’s Specialty Hospitalwhich is part of RWJBarnabas Health’s Children’s Health Network, today announced the launch of the Live Safe Online Safety Center (rwjbh.org/cshlivingsafely), a new website designed to advance safety education and injury prevention for people with disabilities. As the latest initiative of the hospital Living Safely with Disabilities and Special Health Needs program, the website serves as a one-stop accessible hub of safety tools and resources, guidance documents, public service announcements and discussion templates to support community safety conversations among residents disabilities, community carers and local emergency response teams.

Funded in part by a $250,000 grant from the Division of Disability Services, New Jersey Department of Social Services, Living Safely with Disabilities and Special Health Needs is a partnership of disability advocates, organizations, agencies and caregivers focused on improving the equity, accessibility and functionality of safety education and injury prevention.

“More than sixty million adults in the United States have some type of disability, but public safety resources are generally not designed for people with disabilities – and emergency responders are generally not trained to recognize and respond the safety needs of people with disabilities,” said Jill Harris, associate vice president of the research center and autism program coordinator at Children’s Specialized. “As a result, people with disabilities are often unprepared for life-threatening situations. safety and are more prone to injury.Ultimately, our goal is to change that narrative and lay the foundation for a national safety coalition that puts people with disabilities first.

Resources and tools available through the Live Safe Online Safety Center were developed following a disability safety survey and a nationwide brainstorming summit, both of which engaged key audiences to identify challenges and opportunities for growth in the field of safety education. As a result of these findings, the new website includes educational materials on topics such as interactions with law enforcement, fire safety, wandering and running away, and interpersonal violence. These safety resources are available in multiple formats and outlets to meet different learning styles, sensory issues, cognitive abilities, and accessibility needs.

“Any successful population health initiative requires deep and ongoing engagement with the people and communities we work with,” said Adrienne Robertiello, health care educator at Children’s Specialized. “Throughout this process, we have worked closely with a network of disabled self-advocates, organizations, agencies, emergency responders, academics, researchers, justice activists and other security actors – all of whom are united in their commitment to bringing solutions that are more inclusive of security policy, practice, education and results.

Many resources are available for emergency responders, law enforcement, caregivers, educators, researchers, technology developers, and others involved with safety, including tips and tools that support inclusive security practices. Access these resources and learn more about Live safely at rwjbh.org/cshlivingsafely.

About Children’s Specialty Hospital

Children’s Specialty Hospital, part of the RWJBarnabas Health Children’s Health Network, is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children and young adults from birth to 21 with special health conditions. – from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to a full spectrum of developmental, behavioral and mental health issues. At 15 different locations across New Jersey, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative medical therapies and treatments more personalized and effective so that every child can reach their full potential. For more information, visit rwjbh.org/childrensspecialized.

Sherry J. Basler