Involve Survivors with Disabilities

In keeping with the disability movement’s mantra “Nothing about us without us,” involve individuals with disabilities in your efforts to address domestic and sexual violence, as you would with any effort to address issues in the lives of individuals with disabilities. If you’re working with people who have already disclosed experiences of domestic or sexual violence, get their input. If not, work with self advocates to build their knowledge about the issue and create opportunities for them to get involved in addressing it.

Resources You Can Use

  • Guide For Starting Empowerment Groups. Illinois Imagines, a statewide collaboration of disability, sexual assault, and self-advocates, created this guide for self-advocates and allies to start empowerment groups for women with disabilities. It includes considerations for starting and facilitating a group and features a curriculum with 21 topics to address, including icebreakers, handouts, relevant information, and activities.
  • Engaging Women with Disabilities in the Anti-Violence Movement PowerPoint. Members of the Illinois Imagines collaboration created this PowerPoint presentation on involving women with disabilities in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence, including helpful tips on how to inquire about accommodations and ensure meaningful inclusion.
  • Engaging People with Disabilities in the Needs Assessment Process. Another way to gather input from people with disabilities is to invite them to share their thoughts and impressions via focus groups or interviews. This document includes safety and access considerations, along with suggested focus group and interview questions.