Cultural Awareness

Possibly eligible for TCOLE 3904

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Course Goal

To discuss the importance of cultural awareness for Telecommunicators.

Every city in every state is made up of persons from a variety of cultures. The Telecommunicator, is the first person someone talks to when they need help. A person may judge the entire public safety profession base don that interaction. 

Telecommunicators must be aware of the cultures in their area, to ensure every caller is treated the same, and given the help they need.


Culture determines the way a person lives, the way they respond to outside influence, and how they deal with a crisis.

Telecommunicators must understand and accept these cultural differences, and be prepared to process calls from a person who may have a language barrier, fear police, or be unfamiliar with their rights and the laws which apply to their situation.


Course Documentation

  • Online Course Acknowledgement
  • Expectations for Online Students
  • Cultural Awareness Learning Objectives
  • Cultural Awareness Worksheet



  • Introduction
  • Video Transcript: 7 Aspects of Culture
  • Video: 7 Aspects of Culture
  • Knowledge Checkpoint



  • Definitions
  • Video: 70 People Reveal Their Country-s Most Popular Stereotypes (No Transcript)
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Components of Culture


  • Components of Culture
  • Video: Cultural Values (No Transcript)
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Language Barriers


  • Langauge Barriers
  • Video Transcript: Language Barrier Leads to 9-1-1 Call Delay
  • Video: Language barrier leads to delay in 911 Call
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Fear of Police


  • Fear of Police
  • Video Transcript: Police Work to Bridge Gap
  • Video: Police work to bridge gap as some afraid to call 911
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Unfamiliarity with Laws and Public Safety


  • Unfamiliarity with Laws and Public Safety
  • Video Transcript: Oakland PD Admits Wrongly Denying Visas
  • Video: Oakland Police Admit Wrongly Denying Visas to Immigrant Crime Victims
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Processing Calls


  • Processing Calls
  • Video Transcript: 911 Call Shows Language Barrier
  • Video: 911 call from shooting shows language barrier
  • Knowledge Checkpoint



  • Conclusion
  • Video Transcript: Diversity Training for Officers
  • Video: Diversity Training for Officers
  • Knowledge Checkpoint

Final Exam

  • Cultural Awareness Final Exam

Course Evaluation

  • Course Evaluation

About Your Instructor

Tina L.  Chaffin

Tina L. Chaffin

9-1-1 Training Specialist

I have over 22 years of experience as a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator/Trainer. I have experience in PSAPs large and small. I currently work part-time in a PSAP to retain my skills and industry knowledge.

I am passionate about training and public education. 

I currently hold the following certifications NENA ENP, APCO RPL, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Master Telecommunicator and Advanced Instructor, Texas Department of Public Safety TCIC/TLETS Instructor, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Instructor.

Learning Objectives

Define terms related to cultural awareness.

List the four components of culture.

Discuss ways to overcome a langauge barrier.

Explain why some cultures fear police.

Determine which laws apply to immigrants of different cultures.

List techniques to use when dealing with a person from a different culture.