Developing Positive Interactions for People with Developmental Disabilities and First Responders, Police, and the Justice System: A Guide for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Loved Ones (Updated August 2018) (The Arc of Northern Virginia)


The Arc of Northern Virginia is dedicated to ensuring that the human and civil rights of people with developmental disabilities are protected. They have known and worked with thousands of families, in their more than 50 year history, who have taught them so much.

In recent years, they have seen a big increase in calls and emails from families who are concerned about the safety of their loved ones with developmental disabilities in police and other justice interactions. They have also had more calls from families saying their loved one has been arrested and they need help.

This guide (developed by the Arc of Northern Virginia) is meant to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their loved ones by doing what they do best - provide free, actionable information and help people with developmental disabilities and their families advocate for themselves and others.

This guide provides resources available in Northern Virginia, but also contains information that could be helpful to people who live in other counties in Virginia.


ADD/ADHD Autism Spectrum Disorder Behavior Challenging Behavior Collaboration Deaf-Blind Developmental Delay Emotional Disabilities Hearing Impairment Intellectual Disabilities Learning Disability Mild/Moderate Disabilities Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Other Health Impairment Parent/Family Professional Resources Safety Speech/Language Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury Vision Impairment