Recent Media Appearance And Blog Security for the Disabled
Written by Robert D. Sollars
Recent Media Appearance:
On Friday the 4th, I was interviewed on “In Perspective” about my two recent fiction books, “Legend of Three Book 1: The Rise of MarPatconia” and Evil Does as Evil Is”. The interview with q&A by the audience takes about an hour. The link to listen to what I said is: https://www.brancoevents.com/in-perspective-247-with-robert-sollars-author-of-legend-of-three-book-one-and-evil-does-as-evil-is/
I’m so excited because my book was just nominated for the 2021 Readers Choice Awards contest by TCK Publishing! Please vote for it at
Now the Blog was originally published in the “Consumer Vision Magazine” on March 5th!
Being disabled myself, I want to specifically talk about those of us that are disabled. I can only speak in generalities because of the myriad of issues for varying handicaps but always ask for help if you have a concern.
The statistics since 2004 show that crime against the disabled has begun to skyrocket. For numerous reasons, we are getting around with a larger target on our backs than before. We used to have a free pass no matter where or when we were but now…eh not so much.
Crime statistics, from the FBI Uniform Crime Index, since 2004 show that crime against the disabled Is beginning to skyrocket like an exploratory rocket from NASA. For numerous reasons, we are getting around with a larger target on our backs than before. We used to have a free pass no matter where or when we were out and about but, now…eh not so much.
The key to preventing crime against yourself, your home, and your loved ones is simple. Continually be aware of where you are and what is going on around you at all times…situational awareness. If you don’t stay cognizant, hyper-vigilant, you can’t be aware when someone, or something, may be amiss and is ready to cause you harm. Remember that many people, far too many, believe that disabled people became stupid after becoming disabled and have no clue about anything, especially when out and about.
If you are blind or in a wheelchair, you have to know what type of ground you’re on or you’ll fall and possibly be seriously injured. These are dangers even if you know where you are. It can be terrifying to be like a turtle on its back defenseless with your soft underbelly exposed. Whether you’re brave or not, having your ‘soft underbelly’ exposed with no way to protect yourself…
In the instance that you are in a wheelchair and visually impaired, don’t let anyone push you to go faster than you want to or feel safe doing. I understand that people want to help and don’t want us to get caught in the middle of traffic when the light changes. But they don’t realize that moving faster than you can or grabbing and pulling you along can be just as dangerous, if not more so.
Take your time and let your cane show you where you’re at while you’re out and about. Don’t take anything for granted when moving down a sidewalk or across the street. One tip that I started utilizing a decade ago in residential neighborhoods was to angle just a bit when crossing the street, away from the corner. I may end up 10 feet from the corner but I would rather do that than end up in the middle of the street and not have a clue where I was.
Make every effort to do one simple thing while out and about… listen. If you don’t listen closely, then you may miss a clue as to something coming up on you. Listening closely will tell you if there is something around you no matter what it may be.
It’s not easy to do that while walking on a busy street, much less a residential street, but it’s one way to be safe, especially if the area is unfamiliar and you’re totally blind.
Landscaping, vehicles on the curb or across the sidewalk, children’s toys, hoses, sprinklers, wires, and so on. Everything you come across will change the sound of your surroundings. Pay attention to the changes to the noise level and air pressure.
In order to not be considered a target by ruffians, move as quickly as you can. A sports quote by John Wooden is as applicable to us as it is to sports; be quick but don’t hurry, and yes there is a big difference. In other words, be quick in your motions but if you hurry them, you will make a mistake.
I have always felt that if you follow the military motto about walking, then no one will mess with you. That motto is Walk like you have someplace to go and something to do once you get there. In other words, walk as quickly as you can with confidence. Head up, shoulders straight-if possible, as fast as is safe, taking long strides (as possible) and using your cane defensively, wrap the cord around your hand, and be prepared to use it as a weapon as necessary.
As for smell, that may be a little more subjective than hearing, but you can’t ignore it either. If you smell something that isn’t quite right, don’t ignore it. It could be the wiring in the house ready to catch fire, your neighbor’s house burning, leaks of some kind (water, gas, sewer, etc.), or something similar. But never ignore it until you can determine what it is. And don’t be upset if no one else can smell it, it’s natural.
I have good hearing and sense of smell for one reason and one reason only. I trained myself during my nearly 40 years in the security field as an officer/manager. At 0300 hours in a dark warehouse…noises sounding like rats or other critters can be an attempt to break-in. As for the smell, if you walk through a facility that uses hazardous materials or chemicals…
Your sense of smell can also help you while you are out taking a walk. Cigarette smoke, especially if you don’t, body odor, and a myriad of other smells can alert you to many things that are close or coming up. If you hear water running but smell something nauseating then it could be a broken sewer line. Is that body odor? Possibly someone who just didn’t take a shower or someone trying to sneak up on you.
Just like with your hearing don’t ignore your smelling something out of the ordinary. It could be nothing, just overactive olfactory nerves but why take the chance when you are disabled? And, don’t let anyone deride you for it either just because you’re cautious and want to stay safe.
“Some who are sighted are the blindest of all”.
Robert is a security consultant based in Tempe, AZ, and has nearly 40 years of experience. He owns and operates his company Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting, specializing in preventing violence in the workplace & schools. Subscribe to his blogs at www.sollarsviolenceprevention.com