July is Disability Pride Month as well as the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Thanks to people with disabilities and the disability rights movement, there have been amazing strides in access and inclusion. It is important to celebrate these strides while we continue to work towards a more equitable society. One of the many ways we can celebrate is to improve our services for Survivors with Disabilities. Only 12% of survivors with disabilities receive formal services. We can bridge that gap by increasing our capacity as well as our outreach efforts.
Leaders and founders of the Disability Justice (DJ) movement, Sins Invalid have created a number of invaluable resources. Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People is a DJ primer that focuses on organizing and mobilizing with action items and historical context for the movement. Disability Justice: An Audit Tool was designed to support the growth of DJ and transform work through disabled wisdom. The tool reviews the principles of DJ, asks users to question the histories and practices of their organizations, presents stories of implementation, and provides tools to increase accessibility.
Last year, PreventConnect released a podcast episode featuring grassroots organizer and co-founder of Indiana Disability Justice, Cierra Olivia Thomas-Williams. The two-part episode addresses DJ as a vehicle for change and transformation and provides the audience with examples of creative ways to center DJ in their everyday work.
The End Abuse of People with Disabilities website features a vast resource library dedicated to improving services for disabled survivors. Whether you are interested in Exploring Identity and Language for Survivors with Disabilities, tips on Creating Accessible Print Materials, or want a tutorial in Augmented Language, the resource library has everything that you are looking for.
One crucial way to support survivors with disabilities is to include them in planning and leadership. The team at Kansas BELIEVE is built upon a foundation of authentic inclusion and has produced several toolkits, by and for self-advocates. Their Accommodation and Guardianship guides use plain-language along with photos and graphics to help deliver information to self-advocates in more accessible ways, which is essential for incorporating the voices of disabled people. They have also created an Accessible Zoom Guide to help folks access remote support and services.
Lastly, bring disabled people and disability-centered organizations into your work through partnership. COLLECTIVE POWER: A Practical Blueprint for Sexual Assault Programs to Create Community Partnerships and Collaborations is a thorough guide to establishing reciprocal relationships as a means for mutual growth and development.