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District equipping first responders to better serve special populations 

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Schools (CCS) Exceptional Children Department isMelvin Diggs  preparing to equip first responders, including sheriff’s deputies who work in the schools, with strategies and resources that have proven effective when interacting during crises with individuals with disabilities. 

That training Oct. 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Horton Middle School, 79 S. Horton St., is geared toward preventing unintended consequences that have been associated with stressful situations involving people with disabilities. Participants will have an opportunity to learn basic sign language to better assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The training, also open to CCS administrators, will have a special focus on people with intellectual disabilities and autism. 

The idea is to make sure individuals with disabilities are well cared for both within the school system and in the greater Chatham County community, according to Melvin Diggs, the executive director of the Exceptional Children & Academically/Intellectually Gifted Program in CCS. 

Published Sept. 16, 2019