Nearly 3 million people in the United States identify as “American Indian or Alaskan Native” (2010 U.S. Census). Due to systemic and historical oppression, individuals within these communities experience high rates of sexual assault and have high rates of disability. Indigenous survivors of sexual assault who also have a disability encounter unique barriers in their healing journey. During this webinar, Olga Trujillo of Activating Change will be joined by Nicole Matthews of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition to discuss these barriers, strategies for providing support and opportunities for change.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in support of survivors everywhere, we are dedicating this month’s End Abuse of People with Disabilities webinar to lifting up promising practices for serving domestic violence survivors with disabilities. Featuring a panel comprised of service providers addressing gaps in their own organizations, this webinar will explore the unique barriers that people with disabilities have to navigate when seeking healing and the strategies that advocates can employ to proactively remove those barriers. Specifically, the panelists will explore the civil-legal needs of survivors with disabilities, the needs of survivors who acquire a disability through domestic violence, and the unique needs of Deaf survivors. The panelists will provide practical guidance from their own experience that will help you ensure that survivors with disabilities feel respected and supported within your programs.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was established in October of 1987. Since then, across the country, domestic violence advocates have organized awareness-raising events in support of domestic violence survivors, to highlight the rates of domestic violence in their communities and to unite individuals and organizations working on these issues. During this webinar, staff from Activating Change will provide guidance on creating accessible social media, accessible websites, and accessible in-person events.
When survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors engage with your organization, they are necessarily engaging with the policies that guide the delivery of your services. Failure to account for the lived experiences of survivors with disabilities in your organizational polices results in delays in service provision, confusion among staff about what is allowed, safety concerns among survivors, the provision of inadequate or unsafe services, or the denial of services completely.
How would your disability organization respond? Would you be prepared to address the safety needs of a survivor whose personal care worker or staff member is the one hurting them? What about when the survivor and the person who has hurt them are both receiving services from your organization? Do your mandatory reporting policies create a barrier to survivors reaching out to you for help?
This webinar will examine policies that disability service providers should have in place, including serving both the survivor and person who is abusing them, mandatory reporting and addressing safety when staff and/or personal care workers are implicated as the abusive party.
When survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors engage with your victim service organization or disability program, they are necessarily engaging with the policies that guide the delivery of your services. Regardless of they type of organization, failure to account for the lived experiences of survivors with disabilities in your organizational polices results in delays in service provision, confusion among staff about what is allowed, safety concerns among survivors, the provision of inadequate or unsafe services, or the denial of services completely.
Both victim service and disability organizations have policies in place that can impact survivors with disabilities. However, implications for organizational policies differ since victim service organizations primarily need to enhance their policies to account for accessibility and disability organizations need to enhance their policies to account for safety. To adequately address policies at both victim service organizations and disability organizations, Centering Survivors with Disabilities in Your Organizational Policies is being held over two separate webinars. The first, being held on August 23rd focuses on polices at victim service organizations. The second will focus on policies at disability organization and will be held on August 30th.
Victim Service Organizations
Are you prepared to allow a survivor with a disability have a paid personal care attendant provide services in your shelter? Have you considered how to address the tension between the need to have a service animal in shelter and other residents’ fear or allergies? Is your organization prepared to serve an adult survivor that has a guardian?
Are you prepared to address the safety needs of a survivor whose personal care worker or staff member is the one hurting them? What about when the survivor and the person who has hurt them are both receiving services from your organization? Do your mandatory reporting policies create a barrier to survivors reaching out to you for help?
This webinar will examine key policies that victim service organizations should have in place to account for unique circumstances in the lives of survivors with disabilities, including personal care attendants, service animals and guardianship.
Conferences are a place where advocates and leaders in the anti-violence movement can learn more about trends and strategies as well as network with other colleagues. For Deaf advocates, there are access considerations to ensure they can fully participate. This webinar will discuss how staff from the Resource Sharing Project at the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice partnered together during the Embracing Change & Growth Conference that took place in Chicago in March 2019.
Staff will share the approaches utilized to ensure full inclusiveness and language access for Deaf participants, including the provision of both hearing and Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. They will share lessons learned from the from the conference, discuss what our partnership looked like, including what made it a successful partnership, and share recommendations for your future in-person event planning for access and inclusion. If you have always wondered about the successful ingredients for maximum language access for Deaf participants at your in-person events, this is the webinar for you!
Join panelists Cat Fribley, Kris Bein, and Valerie Davis from the Resource Sharing Project and Center on Victimization and Safety staff Raylene Lotz, Liam Esposito, and Nancy Smith, as well as American Sign Language Interpreter, Amber Hodson, for this discussion.
With high rates of victimization and incarceration, people with disabilities have an elevated likelihood of having contact with the criminal legal system in their lifetime. However, due to lack of accessibility, unexamined biases – conscious and unconscious – that exist in the criminal legal system, and an overall fear of system involvement, people with disabilities, and specifically Black, Indigenous people with disabilities, are seeking alternatives to healing and accountability.
One of those alternatives is Transformative Justice. Transformative Justice (TJ) is a framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse. At its most basic, it seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence. TJ was created by and for people from marginalized communities for whom calling the police may not be a viable or safe option. This session will further explore the concept of transformative justice and its application to power-based violence in disability and Deaf communities.
Facilitator, Olga Trujillo, from the Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice, will be joined in conversation by Najma Johnson and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.
Najma Johnson, DAWN. Najma, who identifies as BlackDeafBlind Trans non-binary, is currently the Executive Director at DAWN, a anti-violence agency providing services for the DeafDisabled, DeafBlind, Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late-deafened who experienced power-based violence. Najma co-founded Together All in Solidarity (TAS), an umbrella anti-violence community collaboration that functions as a network for marginalized communities within the Deaf Community. Their lifelong work to reduce violence is led by a commitment to transformative justice and actively looking to reduce harm and address systems of oppression.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Leah (she/they) is a nonbinary femme disabled writer and disability and transformative justice movement worker of Burgher and Tamil Sri Lankan, Irish and Galician Romani ascent. They are the author or co-editor of nine books, including (with Ejeris Dixon) Beyond Survival, Tonguebreaker, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, and Bodymap. A Lambda Award winner who has been shortlisted for the Publishing Triangle five times, they are the 2020 Jean Cordova Award winner “honoring a lifetime of work documenting the complexities of queer experience” and are a 2020 Disability Futures Fellow. Raised in rustbelt central Massachusetts and shaped by T’karonto and Oakland, they currently make home in South Seattle, Duwamish territories. Website is: brownstargirl.org