The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

This month, James taught us about:

Sexual Assault 

– How it feels to be sexually assaulted as a teenager.

– How hard it is to talk to people about sexual assault.

– Learning to stand up for yourself.

Family Support

– How families can support sexual assault survivors.

-Why families should become good listeners.

– How families can help sexual assault survivors get counseling and other services.

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#SexualAssaultSurvivor #IDD #txcdd

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

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

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!

Get Paid to Talk!

Our team will be holding listening sessions to learn more about important issues and concerns related to sexual assault of people with IDD. What we learn will help us develop resources and tools to prevent sexual assault and to support people if it does happen to them. We’ll have five groups:

  • People with IDD (who identify as survivors of sexual assault)
  • People with IDD (who do not identify as survivors)
  • Family/friends/allies
  • First responders including law enforcement (who have CIT or Pathways to Justice training), EMS, and emergency room nurses with experience working with people with IDD
  • Service coordinators (e.g., LIDDA, ARC, SSLC, Day Hab, etc.)

Each group will have four people. They will meet two times over Zoom for 1.5 hours each time. Participants will receive $75/session. The first session will be in late June/early July. The second session will be in August.

We want diversity within these groups, including people with differing races and ethnicities, languages, disabilities, gender, gender identification, and sexual orientation.

All participants must be at least 18 years old and willing to discuss these sometimes-difficult topics. We are working with SAFE Austin to ensure all participants have control and choice within the sessions. We will also include a therapist with trauma-informed training in the sessions.

If you or anyone you know is interested in participating, please contact Alisa Miller no later than May 21. Let her know in which one of the five groups you want to join. Alisa will follow up to get more information.

Your help can make a huge difference!