National Alliance to End Domestic Abuse

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Changing Our Approach to Survivors with Disabilities
September 24th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Eastern

This webinar will focus on strategies for effectively serving victims and survivors of interpersonal violence with disabilities, considering the ways that people with disabilities may be impacted by violence and how systems of support may be used by both perpetrators and victims. The presentation will offer practical strategies to better engage and empower people with disabilities and consider unique needs for safety planning and accessibility.


By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define “disabilities” and recognize the ways in which people with disabilities are impacted by intimate partner violence
  • Consider how systems of support can be manipulated by both perpetrators and victims
  • Recognize practical strategies for supporting victims and survivors with disabilities, including safety planning  and increasing accessibility



Roberta E. Sick, M.Ed., C.R.C., L.P.C.
Director, Crime Victims with Disabilities Project and Safety and Sexual Violence Prevention Project

Roberta Sick is employed by Partners for Inclusive Communities - University of Arkansas. Since 1998, she has directed Partners violence prevention and intervention efforts. She provides direct services to victims with disabilities through co-advocacy with domestic violence, sexual assault and law enforcement based victim advocates. She has been involved in a number of training efforts both in the state and nationally, addressing the critical issues of preventing violence in the lives of people with disabilities and providing access to victims’ services. This has included training for professionals, law enforcement and information for people with disabilities. Since 2006, Ms. Sick has been a co-chair of the National Council on Independent Living’s Subcommittee on Violence and Abuse. She recently coordinated the Justice Strand at the two day National Goals in Research, Practice, and Policy meeting in Washington, an effort that jointly sponsored by six disability organizations.  She is a licensed professional counselor.

Mary Oschwald, MSW, PhD
Director, Regional Research Institute for Human Services
Associate Research Professor, School of Social Work, Portland State University

Mary Oschwald is a Research Associate Professor and the Director of The Regional Research Institute for Human Service, School of Social Work at Portland State University.  Her research work focuses on interpersonal violence against people with disabilities and Deaf individuals.  She provides training and technical assistance to victims’ services, disability providers, law enforcement, and community advocates to enhance practice, policy, and research efforts for improving service delivery to people with disabilities and Deaf individuals. 

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