Technology is integral in the daily lives of all people. This session will explore the range of assistive technology used by people with disabilities, including common terms, definitions, and differences.
The Assistive Technology Industry Association defines assistive technology as “any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.”
This discussion will focus on how abusers may misuse that technology as a tactic of abuse and how people with disabilities can incorporate assistive technology into their safety planning. This session will help service providers better understand how to utilize assistive technology to remove barriers to safely and effectively serve survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors.
April is Sexual Assault 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 survivors with disabilities. Featuring a panel comprised of a survivor with a disability, a national expert, and a local advocate, 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. 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
Join panelists, Cathy Saunders, Self-Advocate with Illinois Imagines, Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams, Prevention Specialist at Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Heidi Sue LeBoeuf, Counseling Director at Pathways For Change and facilitator Sandra Harrell, Associate Director, Center on Victimization and Safety for this discussion.
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.
Deaf domestic and sexual violence programs are few and far between in comparison to hearing programs. There are only 20 “for Deaf, by Deaf” programs compared to approximately 3,000 programs designed for hearing survivors. What does this mean for Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence trying to heal from violence and abuse? Join this panel discussion with advocates from Deaf domestic and sexual violence programs to learn more about the state of Deaf services. These boots-on-ground advocates will share more about their programs, including about the National Deaf Hotline, the barriers Deaf survivors experience when trying to access services from hearing programs, explore the disparities Deaf survivors of color experience, and share why understanding what’s happening, and the resources available to Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence, is critical.
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
Survivors with disabilities are experts in their own lived experiences, so they should guide our work to ensure services are accessible and responsive to their needs. To meaningfully work with survivors with disabilities, you need to make sure everything you do is accessible and inclusive.
In this panel discussion, self-advocates from Washington, D.C. and Kansas who are working to address domestic and sexual violence against people with disabilities will share how their work empowers them as advocates and how they have partnered with their team members to play a meaningful leadership role.
In the session, you will learn strategies for decision-making and power-sharing, tips for ensuring cognitive and physical access, and ways to empower survivors with disabilities with the tools and support they need to be equal peers in the work to address domestic and sexual violence.