Why ICADV Does Disability Justice Work

written by: Cierra Olivia Thomas Williams, M.A., Prevention Specialist at Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, IDJ Co-Founder, Co-Leader

ICADV practices disability justice because people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by intimate partner and sexual violence victimization. People with cognitive and developmental disabilities are subjected to conditions, such as poverty, diminished economic opportunity, lack of transportation, no internet access, lack of education, and lack of social inclusion—all of which increase and magnify one’s risks for violence perpetration.

Disability justices asks us to take perspective and center those who are pushed to the margins to inform and lead our work. Every human is impacted by disability temporarily or permanently at some point in their lives. It makes strategic sense to focus prevention efforts on people who are isolated from systems of support because they are at greater risk to experience violence. People with disabilities are often left out of mainstream programs and services and to disrupt this institutional habit ICADV requires that all budgets—incoming and outgoing—have a line item for accessibility. If you are interested to learn more about accessible budgeting, visit Indiana Disability Justice Advisory Council’s (IDJ) webinars about engaging in accessible organizing and budgeting for social inclusion.

Disability justice practices ensure we are increasing equity and advancing the leadership of people with disabilities within our organization and across Indiana. Indiana Disability Justice Advisory Council (IDJ) is led by survivors of multiple forms of violence with disabilities to create a state free of violence against people with disabilities where people with disabilities are supported in their independence, included in society, and recognized as a valuable part of society. IDJ designed an online Disability Justice and Violence Prevention Resource HUB, developed and piloted two accessible evaluation tools, organized 15 webinars, supported the development of a healthy sexuality speaker’s bureau, shared accessible environmental and focus group protocols and a toolkit written by Kelsey Cowley, a self-advocate. The Hub and IDJ leadership was featured by PreventConnect in a #MeToo Prevention Townhall, and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

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