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.

Bacote v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

Filed: January 24, 2023

Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

Overview: Amicus brief explaining that people with disabilities have the right to individually sue executive agencies for discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Excerpt: “The need for a private right of action to secure nondiscriminatory treatment from our Federal government goes far beyond Mr. Bacote’s individual experiences. People with disabilities participate in myriad Federal programs…A contrary decision would close the courthouse doors to disabled people seeking to ensure access to National Parks, accessibly-formatted information from government agencies, effective communication in veterans and other healthcare facilities, and reasonable accommodations in Federal prisons.”

Case Documents

Amicus Brief

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.

Williams v. Carvajal

Filed: June 21, 2022

Court: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Overview: This amicus brief explains why requiring prisoners with disabilities to go through additional administrative burdens to file grievances when in prison violates the ADA and Section 504.

Excerpt: The purpose of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA in this context is to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not required to navigate draconian systems just to access the same program as similarly situated people without a disability, based solely on their disability status. The decision of the district court represents a classic example of a person with a disability being forced to jump through more hoops than is required of their non-disabled brethren…Only prisoners with disabilities are required to “exhaust” the additional procedure; prisoners without disabilities are not. Rather than ensuring that the barriers faced are no greater for a person with a disability, the decision of the Court below ignores the purpose behind the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA by erecting additional barriers for individuals with disabilities. While complying with complex administrative grievance processes can be challenging for anyone, prisoners with disabilities face unique challenges. Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to those prisoners only exacerbates those challenges. Singling out this exact population for additional complex grievance requirements will undermine the enforcement of disability law in prisons without any countervailing benefit in screening out meritorious claims.

Case Documents

Amicus Brief

Starting the Conversation: SARTAC

A toolkit for and about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help identify and respond to acts of sexual violence. This resource was developed by Self-Advocates of Indiana (SAI) Vice President Kelsey Cowley.

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.

Talk About Sexual Violence: Self-Advocate Focus Group Findings

This seven-minute video highlights key findings from focus groups held with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who were asked about their thoughts on what doctors, nurses, and other health care providers can do better when talking to them about sexual violence.

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.