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People with Disabilities Affected by Violence: Court Advocacy and Intervention Tips

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Title: People with Disabilities Affected by Violence: Court Advocacy and Intervention Tips


1
People with Disabilities Affected by
Violence Court Advocacy and Intervention Tips
  • I-CAN! Accessibility Project
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • School of Social Work
  • and
  • Partnership for People with Disabilities
  • Materials within this PPT may be used with proper
    citation

2
Training Objectives
  • To provide information of how to assist people
    with disabilities affected by sexual and/or
    domestic violence
  • 1. Become familiar with the how DV/SV may
    affect people with disabilities
  • 2. Identify obstacles that could hinder a
    persons ability to fully participate within the
    court system
  • 3. Become familiar with the types of
    accessibility accommodations
  • 4. Identify safety planning needs for people
    with disabilities affected by violence

3
Types of Disabilities
  • Invisible
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Mental Health
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Visible
  • Mobility
  • Blindness
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Mobility Control

4
Prevalence of SV/DV among People with
Disabilities and the Deaf Community
  • Abuse is likely to continue for a longer
    period of time for women with disabilities
    compared to women without disabilities
  • (Young, M.E., Nosek, M.A., Howland, C.,
    Chanpong, G., Rintala, D.H. 1997)
  • Sexual assault is four times more common
    among women with disabilities than those
    without. (Martin, S. L. et al, 2006)

5
Prevalence of SV/DV among People with
Disabilities and the Deaf Community
  • People who experience violence are also at
    risk of experiencing disabling conditions,
    including traumatic brain injury and
    neurological impairment
  • (Banks, M.E. Ackerman, R.J. 2002 Wilber ,
    L. et al 2001))
  • One study found that women with
    disabilities had a 40 greater chance of
    experiencing violence compared to women without
    disabilities (Brownridge, D.A. 2006)

6
2011 Va Data
  • About 8 of people within Virginia receiving
    advocacy services identified as having a
    disability
  • About 11 of the people identified with a
    disability acquired the disability as a result of
    domestic or sexual violence

7
Perpetrators of Sexual Assault
  • 88-98 of perpetrators are men and are known by
    the victim/survivor
  • 33 acquaintances
  • 33 family member or foster family members
  • 25 caregivers, service providers
  • (Sobsey, 1998)

8
People with Disabilities are Abused
  • More frequently
  • For longer periods of time
  • Less likely to escape the abuse
  • Less likely to access the criminal justice system
  • More likely to remain in situations that increase
    their vulnerability and risk of repeated abuse

9
Examples of Abuse
  • Medication manipulation
  • Refusal to provide assistance with essential
    activities of daily living
  • Denial of access to telephones and other
    communication devices
  • Destruction of adaptive equipment
  • (Powers et al., 2002 Hughes et al.,
    2011, pg.302).

10
Risk Factors for Abuse Against People with
Disabilities and Deaf Persons
  • Social isolation
  • Caregiver reliance eliminating a sense of
    personal body space
  • Learned compliance
  • Segregated living environments and other closed
    systems

11
Risk Factors for Abuse Against People with
Disabilities and Deaf Persons
  • Often arent believed
  • Limited communication
  • Use of unqualified interpreters by service
    providers
  • Lack of communication ability
  • Limited knowledge of what is assault and what is
    illegal or not illegal

12
  • Disability, Violence and Survival
  • A Personal Story
  • Safe Place
  • PO Box 19454
  • Austin, TX 78760
  • www.austin-SafePlace.org
  • 512-267-SAFE (Voice)
  • 512-927-9616 (TTY)

13
What does the ADA Require from the Court?
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) (42
    USC 12101 et seq) requires
  • 1. All state and local governmental entities,
    including courts, to accommodate the
    needs of individuals with disabilities
    who have an interest in court activities,
    programs, and services.

14
What does the ADA Require from the Court?
  • 2. The courts to modify programs to integrate
    persons with disabilities, eliminate
    discriminatory practices or procedures, and
    provide alternatives to communications
    limitations and differences. (CA Bench
    Handbook, 18).

15
Who is responsible for the accommodation?
  • The court, not the individual with a disability,
    is responsible for providing accommodations.
  • A public entity shall furnish appropriate
    auxiliary aids and services where necessary
    to afford an individual with a disability an
    equal opportunity to participate in, and
    enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or
    activity conducted by a public entity. 28
    CFR 36.160(b)(1).

16
  • Accommodations must address
  • diverse disabilities,
  • which can vary in nature and degree
  • from person to person.

17
Court Advocacy Gaining Accessibility for a
Person with a Disability
  • Advocate for
  • the appropriate type of communication
    accommodation
  • a clear explanation of information and forms
    provided by the court
  • the ability to move throughout the court without
    barriers and limitations

18
Concerns of People with Disabilities while
Utilizing Court Services
  • Overwhelming experience
  • Emotionally
  • Physically
  • 2. Inability to complete required forms
  • Learning disability
  • Sight disability
  • Mobility disability

19
Concerns of People with Disabilities while
Utilizing Court Services
  • 3. Fear that Court Personnel will not be
    knowledgeable of disability limitations
  • A person with Traumatic Brain Injury may not be
    able to remember details therefore gives
    appearance of changing his/her story and/or being
    untruthful
  • Flat affect may be a result of PTSD, depression
    or Traumatic Brain Injury and may not have
    expected emotion to match the incident(s) being
    discussed.

20
Concerns of People with Disabilities while
Utilizing Court Services
  • 4. Concern of accommodation limitations that may
    impact the court experience
  • Lack of appropriate parking
  • Lack of appropriate space needed to move
    wheelchair through hallways, rooms, doorways
  • Building does not provide enough lighting
  • Communication limitations

21
Assess for Physical Mobility Barriers
  • Are there physical barriers making it difficult
    to enter the Court Building?
  • Where are the accessible parking spaces for
    people with disabilities?
  • Are the accessible parking spaces wide enough to
    accommodate a van with a wheel chair ramp?

22
Assess for Physical Mobility Barriers
  • Is a person utilizing a wheel chair able to get
    through all doorways into the various rooms
    throughout the court building?
  • How much walking and standing will each person be
    required to do to participate in the court
    proceeding?
  • It is okay to ask a person with a visual
    impairment if he/she would prefer guidance as
    he/she walks throughout the court?

23
Communication Tips
  • Look directly at the person intended to receive
    your information when speaking
  • Communication should be directed at the person
    utilizing the sign language
    interpretation not the interpreter
  • Communication should never be made while back or
    side is toward person intended to receive the
    communication

24
Communication Tips
  • Always Identify who you are before speaking
  • A person with a cognitive disability may have
    difficulty remembering details
  • A person with a visual impairment will rely upon
    this verbal identification throughout the entire
    court process as a means to identify who is
    providing assistance

25
Communication Tips
  • All people within a certain disability population
    do not use the same communication accommodations
  • Not all people who use sign language
    interpretation use the same form of sign language
  • Not all people who are deaf or hearing impaired
    can read or effectively write as a form of
    communication

26
Communication Tips
  • All people within a certain disability
    population do not use the same accommodations
  • Always ask the person what type of accommodation
    best meets his/her need
  • Not all people who are blind utilize Braille

27
Sign Language Interpreters
  • Sign language interpreters are available through
    the court
  • The procedures to obtain sign language
    interpretation may vary depending on the court
  • Check with the court on the need to establish a
    procedure for the availability of sign language
    interpreters especially for the non-planned
    process of filing for protective orders

28
Accommodation Needs for Shelter and Court
  • 1. Providing specific services such as
    assistive listening systems, sign language
    interpreters, oral interpreters, real-time
    captioning, written material on computer-readable
    disk, telecommunications devices for the deaf
    (TDD), videophone, or reader services for a deaf
    or hard-of-hearing person.
  • 2. Providing Braille materials or the assistance
    of a sighted person to describe objects or
    diagrams for a blind person.

29
Accommodation Needs for Shelter and Court
  • Providing for a person who is sensitive to
    chemicals or scents, lighting, air
    conditioning, or other environmental elements in
    the court building or in specific rooms.
  • Permitting the accompaniment of a trusted
    advisor, companion or other assistive personnel
    for a person with an emotional or other disorder.
  • Transportation to and from the shelter and court

30
Safety Planning Guidelines
  • Barriers of the victims disability should always
    be considered
  • Safety plans should include disability resources
  • Resources and educational materials should always
    be provided within the users primary language
    such as braille, sign language, information
    matched to meet any intellectual disabilities
  • Safety planning should incorporate any type of
    new technology and accommodations that may
    improve safety

31
Critical Questions in Safety Planning
  • How does the victims disability effect him/her
    in an emergency?
  • Does the consumer have a safe place to go in an
    emergency, day or night?
  • Are there service providers or other support
    services connected to the abuser in any way?

32
Necessary Components within a Safety Plan
  • Identify a manner in which the victim may be able
    to call 911 either from home or a shelter
  • Plan for ability to access needed medications in
    the event the victim needs to leave his/her home
  • Develop a plan to gather important documents
    (birth certificate, guardianship papers,
    insurance , etc.)

33
Necessary Components within a Safety Plan
  • Identify safe places the victim may go, day or
    night, in the event of an emergency. Consider
    the victims disability when identifying a
    shelter and/or safe place means of
    transportation.
  • Identify any medical or accommodation equipment
    that victim will need when leaving. This
    equipment may include service animals.

34
Community Task Force Goals
  • Identify the community needs in assisting people
    with disabilities
  • Establishing working relationships between
    service providers throughout the community
  • Cross training and educational opportunities

35
Suggested Task Force Membership
  • Local Police Department
  • Local Sexual and Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Local Victim Witness Program
  • Disability Service Agencies
  • Local Center for Independent Living
  • Local branch of Arc
  • Virginia Department for the Deaf and the Hard of
    Hearing
  • Virginia Department for the Blind and Visually
    Impaired
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