Disability Awareness Training

Why is it important?PARC Technique

Why is it Important?

• To ensure fair access to justice for people with disabilities
• To create safe encounters
• To prevent re-victimisation
• To develop a collaborative relationship with disability advocates/organisations in your community
• To comply with relevant legislative obligations

Are we the same?

Welcome to our online resource – begin by taking 6 minutes to watch this wonderful thought provoking video from our friends in Prosper.

Disability Awareness Training

An Introduction

PARC Technique

Is a communication technique involving 4 simple steps to assist you to identify an individual’s needs at first point of contact, to accommodate them appropriately and communicate with them effectively.


Disability is cross-demographic, conditions don’t discriminate and may present in any situation/encounter.

Vulnerable individuals can present in varying ways. The area is vast and complex and a one size fits all approach cannot be applied. Disabilities have many characteristics.

The spectrum of ability can be based on many conditions and factors including age, education, level of intelligence and the nature and severity of the condition.


If someone’s behavior, approach or response appears unusual consider whether that person may have a condition.

“recognise not diagnose”

• Behave inappropriately, unpredictably or unusually

• Appear non-negotiable or stubborn

• Speak honestly to the point of bluntness or rudeness

• Display difficulty with understanding and answering questions

• Have limited vocabulary or speech

• Seem not to realise their situation or the consequences of it

• Difficulty reading facial expressions, body language, and social cues

• Seem unusually anxious, agitated or scared

• Social naivity

• Impulsivity

• Sensory: Sight, Sound, Smell, Texture

• Problems paying attention

• Seem not to realise their situation or the consequences of it

• Avoid Eye Contact

• Poor Coordination

• Display repetitive movements and behaviours


Your awareness and understanding of challenges and behaviours is key to supporting and responding to individuals appropriately.

Everyday tasks that people may find difficult or challenging include:

• Filling in forms
• Following instructions/directions
• Concentrating for long periods
• Telling the time
• Understanding or describing time periods
• Remembering things
• Reading, writing, comprehension
• Explaining things
• Keeping appointments
• Following directions
• Understanding social norms and the world around us


Applying appropriate communication strategies and tools will enhance your ability to manage your interation with vulnerable individuals.

“Key Points to Remember”

Be Relaxed and Patient
Aim to keep the situation calm
Explain the Process
Use the person’s name
Keep language clear and concise, focus on the facts and be clear and direct
Be aware of your tone of voice and body language
Try and ascertain how anxiety affects the individual
One voice Only
Ask questions one at a time
Provide adequate processing time
Provide adequate time to respond
Accommodate a person’s schedule or routine where possible to avoid distress
Turn off sirens and flashing lights
Be aware of other background noise that can be distracting
Be open to non-verbal communication
Use drawings or text if necessary
Use visual aides or assistive technology


Legal Jaron
Abstract Language
Hypothetical Questionning
Negative Questionning


Repetitive Movements/Behaviours
Fidgeting, Distraction, Humming
Rocking, Groaning, Hand Wringing
Can Indicate Anxiety
May also act as a Self Calming and
Self Regulating Strategy.



A person may carry an object for security e.g. a piece of string or a small toy. Removing that object may cause further anxiety or distress.