The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

This month, James taught us about:


– How relationships for survivors can be hard.

Unsupportive Family

– Why survivors might be afraid to tell their families about their assault.

– How it feels when your family doesn’t believe or support you.

– Healing from a broken family relationship.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

#SexualAssaultSurvivor #IDD #txcdd

See You at The Arc’s National Convention

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been invited to present at The Arc’s National Convention in Denver, CO. The conference takes place November 10-12, 2022, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

Our session is called Building Better Lives Together: Peer Support that Works! We’ll be sharing some of the great work being done by peer support specialists at our Beaumont pilot site. Senior Peer Support Specialists Lisa Simmons and Ashley Sattler and Peer Support Specialist Katie Sheffield will lead the team. Hope to see you there!

Help amplify self-advocate voices!

Our Seen and Heard: IDD Community team has submitted proposals for SXSW and SXSWEdu 2023. Community voting is an important part of getting picked. Please support us by clicking the links below, voting thumbs up, and leaving a comment. Comments help evaluators know that this topic is important and interesting. Voting closes August 20, so vote soon. Thanks!




Sneak Peek!

Seen and Heard: IDD Community

We are excited to share a new part of our work. We are making videos about sexual assault prevention and recovery. Our videos are made by and for people with IDD who are survivors or just want to learn about staying safe. Listen to our team co-leader, James Meadours, talk about why this work is so important.

This is just a preview, but we’ll be posting more videos in the near future. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss out:

New Publication!

After a year of hard work, we have published Sexual Assault Prevention and Response for People with IDD: A Gap Analysis Framework. This publication describes challenges and opportunities related to:

-Risk Factors
-First Response

People with IDD are at a far greater risk of sexual assault than others. We hope our work will help those in the field begin to make a difference. Check out this and other publications on the new Our Resources page.

Special thanks to our amazing research team!

Photos of Cynthia Burrow, Leigh Ann Davis, James Meadours, Alisa Miller, John Rochford, and Sarah VanMattson

Free Peer Support Still Available

If you receive or are on the interest list for Medicaid Waivers in Texas, our Peer Support Specialists can help you:

– Make a plan for your life.
– Solve problems and make decisions to stay on track.
– Find services and supports to help you reach your goals.

Service is free of charge. Here are the steps:

1. Fill out an application that tells about you.
2. Then, we will match you with a peer support specialist.
3. Starting in November, you will meet with your peer support specialist and their coach on Zoom. Each meeting will be 45 minutes.
4. If it’s a good match, you can have more meetings.

Click the link above to fill out the application. You can get help from a trusted person if you need it. You can also get help from our Peer Support Coach by clicking this link and emailing him:

Email Virtual Pilot Coach

Fill out your application soon–space is limited.

Please share this information with anyone you think might want free peer support!

People Who Communicate Without Speech: New Info on Sexual Assault Prevention & Response

We are proud to share a new white paper. It describes the needs of people who communicate without speech. Their needs are different for sexual assault prevention and response. Many therapists want to work with people who communicate without speech. They may not know how. We hope this paper will help.

We learned:

– It is hard to know when people who communicate without speech have been assaulted. The people around them must watch for signs.
– Behavior might change. The person might avoid others. They might have new fears.
– Sometimes these behaviors are misunderstood. People might miss the real cause.
– Supporting people who communicate without speech is hard.
– Therapists must help the person trust them. They must believe the person.
– Therapies must be person-centered. Some that might work well are art therapies and EMDR.

We hope this white paper will help therapists work better with clients who communicate without speech. Please share this information!