People with disabilities, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), experience sexual assault at much higher rates than people without disabilities. They also encounter challenges receiving care and support services due to pervasive accessibility barriers. It is important to hear directly from individuals with disabilities who are survivors of sexual assault and learn their recommendations for how to improve the support system.
To raise awareness of these issues, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary (OASH) and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) will host an equity-focused webinar on sexual violence against persons with ID/DD. The webinar is a collaborative effort with Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Activating Change, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the visibility of the justice issues people with disabilities face.
The webinar will highlight the prevalence of sexual assault in the disability community. It will center the perspectives of sexual assault survivors with ID/DD, who will discuss their experiences, the barriers they encountered when seeking support, and the recommendations to improve access to care and justice. The target audience is broad and includes organizations serving people with ID/DD, organizations serving survivors of sexual violence, and victim advocates and prevention specialists, plus partners and grantees from HHS and other government agencies.