WIND to Sponsor Training Workshops on Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault

May 29, 2008

The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at the University of Wyoming will sponsor a pair of training workshops to help raise awareness about elder abuse and sexual assault.

The free workshops, funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, are designed specifically for statewide law enforcement officials.

The first workshop, July 31-Aug. 1 in Casper, is geared for detectives investigating crimes against the elderly. The second workshop, Sept. 9-10 in Lander, is for first responders to the scene of an alleged crime.

"This is a one-time opportunity for Wyoming's law enforcement community to take advantage of national-level training and materials to help the response, investigation and prosecution of crime against our elderly citizens," says Nance Shelsta, Wyoming Adult Protection Training project coordinator in Fremont County. "It's really enlightening and eye-opening training."

WIND's training grant expires in September 2009 and UW will not be eligible to apply again, Shelsta says.

To prepare for the two workshops, WIND initiated contracts with partners in Fremont County earlier this year to establish a train-the-trainer program for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges.

"The responses to the initial 64 hours of training in Fremont County were overwhelmingly positive and prompted comments such as, ‘There are a lot of resources out there that should and need to be used' and ‘This training helped my understanding and knowledge of elder abuse,'" says WIND assistant lecturer Sandra Root-Elledge.

For more information or to register for the workshops, call Shelsta at (307) 856-9200 or e-mail, or call Deb Fleming, clinical professor in the UW Department of Medical Education and Public Health, at (307) 766-2719 or e-mail

WIND, part of the UW College of Health Sciences, provides teaching, research, information services and technical assistance to UW and the state.

It prepares persons with and without disabilities to live and work in more inclusive communities and provides current information about disabilities, particularly in the area of developmental disabilities, to Wyoming residents, students and professionals.

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