Project Summary


This project will provide a unique opportunity for communities to increase their understanding and knowledge around abuse and violence and disability through training and technical assistance. Additionally communities will have an opportunity to collaborate on a local level to identify barriers for women with disabilities accessing services and create solutions. Target communities will include 4-5 sites to implement a coordinated community response to violence against women with disabilities.

Justification for the Project

Abuse and Violence in the lives of women with disabilities in Kansas was identified as a health risk factor through a federal public health grant funded project at Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). In 1999 KDHE's Disability and Health program surveyed persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities on risk and protective factors that affect their health. Respondents voiced their strong support for abuse and violence prevention efforts. Discussions from the focus groups noted that people with disabilities are often at greatest risk from people who are closest to them and who provide needed supports.

Project Design

This project will complement existing efforts of community-based initiatives through inter-agency training and support to enhance service delivery to women with disabilities who are experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault by:

  • Offering technical assistance and support via audio-conferencing, on-site visits, discussion groups, and training. As a result, disability advocates will have a greater understanding of abuse and violence, and domestic violence and sexual assault advocates will have a greater understanding of disability.
  • Providing technical assistance/support to independent living centers, domestic violence and sexual assault programs, Adult and Child Protective Services, health care, criminal justice and Area Agencies on Aging. This process is aimed at creating a coordinated community response to violence against women with disabilities through the development of cooperative agreements for inter-agency response.
  • Providing legal expertise to facilitate systems change by reviewing rules / regulations / policies / procedures to identify how they create barriers to women with disabilities.
  • Developing posters and brochures to increase awareness.
  • Reproducing existing materials in alternative formats.

The Partners

This project will support a collaborative effort between Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV), Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living (KACIL), Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the Joint Center of Violence and Victim Studies (JCVVS) at Washburn University and community advocacy agencies to provide technical assistance, training, education and awareness to Kansas advocacy programs on violence against women with disabilities.