Talk About Sexual Violence: Phase Three Final Report

Transforming Health Care to Address and Prevent Sexual Violence of People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Final Report 

Health care providers hold vital positions in the growing national movement to address sexual assault. The overarching goals of the multi-year Talk About Sexual Violence (TASV) project were to raise the alarm about this silent epidemic, promote trauma-informed practices in health care, and compel action to prevent sexual trauma suffered in communities across the country.

This comprehensive summary report provides key findings, innovative solutions, and a call to action from survivors with disabilities, health care professionals, and other advocates.

This final report is provided both in a written format and as a video.

2023 Talk About Sexual Violence Final Report: Transforming Health Care to Address Sexual Violence of People With IDD

In this video, Leigh Anne McKingsley, Senior Director of The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability, and Kecia Weller, Survivor Self-Advocate and Project Advisor, provide an overview of the key findings and recommendations of the Talk About Sexual Violence project over the past seven years.

Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools

Filed: November 16, 2022

Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Overview: Amicus brief explaining that students with disabilities are not required to exhaust their administrative remedies to bring non-IDEA civil rights claims.

Excerpt: “…the decision below significantly undermines IDEA’s policies of protecting students’ rights and the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures as a preferred method for resolving IDEA claims. If allowed to stand, the decision will force parents who could otherwise achieve all available IDEA relief through settlement to nonetheless litigate their claims, lest they be left foreclosed from pursuing non-IDEA civil rights claims as Miguel Perez (Miguel) was. This would be true even though an administrative record regarding appropriate educational instruction serves no purpose whatsoever for adjudicating non IDEA claims and, more significantly, would delay the implementation of any appropriate IDEA remedy…In other words, it adds nothing of value and may further harm students who already prevailed on their IDEA claims.”

Case Documents

Amicus Brief

Press Releases

National Disability Rights Groups File Amicus in Perez v. Sturgis

National Disability Rights Groups Applaud SCOTUS Decision in Perez v. Sturgis

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K-12 Dive: 3 Takeaways From the Perez Special Education Case

Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski

Filed: September 22, 2022

Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Overview: Amicus brief explaining the importance of individuals having the ability to sue state and local governments when their civil rights are violated under Medicaid and other public programs.

Excerpt: The linkage between the RA’s and the ADA’s antidiscrimination mandate and Medicaid provisions implementing that mandate is evidence that Congress intended both aspects of its disability-rights scheme to be privately enforceable. That conclusion is bolstered by the fact that Congress, when enacting the ACA, broadened Medicaid’s “entitlement” provisions by expanding the definition of “medical assistance.” Congress did so in direct response to judicial decisions narrowly construing that term in § 1983 suits brought by people with disabilities. Petitioners’ request that this Court abandon its longstanding holding that Spending Clause legislation can give rise to a private right of action under § 1983 would undermine Congress’s scheme for enforcing disability rights. People with disabilities, including children, regularly bring private lawsuits to enforce each of their independent, mutually reinforcing entitlements under the RA, the ADA, and Medicaid. Those lawsuits have vindicated important rights, providing access to life-saving therapies and everyday living support services close to one’s family and community. Absent a private right of action to enforce their Medicaid guarantees, enforcement of Medicaid would be left to the federal government, which may have few enforcement options other than reduction of States’ Medicaid funding. That may exacerbate rather than remedy States’ failure to comply with Medicaid’s requirements.

Case Documents

Amicus Brief

Supreme Court Opinion

Press Releases

Amicus Brief Filed in U.S. Supreme Court Case Emphasizes Harms to People with Disabilities

A Major Win for Disability Rights From SCOTUS

Related Media

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Yahoo News: Here’s why Nancy Pelosi, Todd Rokita, Biden administration care about Indiana nursing home

Disability Scoop: Supreme Court Case Could Sharply Limit Disability Rights

Disability Scoop: Supreme Court To Hear Case That Could Have Major Consequences For People With Disabilities

Vox: The nightmarish Supreme Court case that could gut Medicaid, explained

Vox: Medicaid appears likely to survive its latest encounter with the Supreme Court

MarketWatch: Supreme Court weighs 83 million Medicaid enrollees’ access to the courts

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The 19th: Supreme Court case altering Medicaid is ‘an assault’ on older adults and people with disabilities, advocates warn

The 19th: Disability and aging advocates celebrate Supreme Court’s Talevski decision

Mother Jones: SCOTUS Just Upheld the Civil Rights of Millions of Disabled and Aging People

Wyfi: Supreme Court reinforces that Medicaid beneficiaries can sue states if their rights are violated

Axios: How nursing homes could face more patient lawsuits


Exploring Locative Technology: What You Need to Know to Address Wandering

During this webinar, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) discusses the pros and cons of using tracking devices in wandering situations, emphasizing some effective alternatives.

The speakers are two parents and police officers, Laurie Reyes and Stefan Bjes, and Board Member, poet, and self-advocate Russell Lehmann.

Talk About Sexual Violence: Supported Decision-Making

This eight-minute video helps medical professionals understand what supported-decision making is and why it is important to use when assisting victims of sexual violence who have an intellectual or developmental disability.

Talk About Sexual Violence: Plain Language

This eight-minute video provides health care professionals with a basic understanding of plain language and how to use it so that patients with IDD can better understand information and more fully participate in health care decisions.

Why Talk About Sexual Violence? Medical Professional Focus Group Findings

This eight-minute video highlights key findings from focus groups held with medical professionals who were asked about how they address or talk about sexual violence with their patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Talk About Sexual Violence Focus Group Report: People With Disabilities

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) are sexually assaulted seven times more often than people without disabilities. Because of this, medical providers must talk about sexual abuse with their patients and offer support. Unfortunately, many medical providers do not have the tools or training to help them have these important conversations.

Talk About Sexual Violence centers on conversation groups of medical providers and people with disabilities, including survivors of sexual assault. It was important to hear from them about how medical appointments can be more supportive.

Conversation groups were held as live, online video sessions to hear from people with IDD about their appointments with medical providers.

This report contains the result of those focus groups.

Talk About Sexual Violence Focus Group Report: Medical Providers

Talk About Sexual Violence centers on conversation groups of medical providers and people with disabilities, including survivors of sexual assault. It is important to learn how medical appointments can be more supportive and patient-centered, especially if someone has experienced sexual assault.

Conversation groups were designed as a live, online video session with medical professionals who answered questions about their practices with patients who had been sexually assaulted, including those with disabilities.

This focus group details the findings from those conversation groups.