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Creating Accessible Services


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Creating Accessible Services

  1. 1. Creating Accessible Services: A Training For Certified Domestic Violence Center Advocates Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence 1 “Sponsored by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families.”
  2. 2. Training ObjectivesTraining Objectives  Advocates will gain knowledge on the link between domestic violence and participants living with a disability.  Advocates will be able to illustrate the meaning of the word “accessible.”  Advocates will be able to identify at least three ways they can enhance services to be more accessible to participants living with a disability.
  3. 3. Civil Rights Acts Pertaining to DisabilityCivil Rights Acts Pertaining to Disability Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990—Prohibits discrimination based on a disability. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968—Provides for fair and equal housing throughout the United States- The FairThe Fair Housing ActHousing Act
  4. 4.  Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Section 601 of Title VI, 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000d Civil Rights Act Pertaining toCivil Rights Act Pertaining to Limited English ProficiencyLimited English Proficiency
  5. 5. The American With Disabilities Act and The Fair HousingThe American With Disabilities Act and The Fair Housing ActAct  The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) are federal laws that ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to services.  The FHA prohibits making a shelter unavailable based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.  The civil rights protections of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 apply to public entities, regardless of whether they received federal financial assistance.  All 42 certified domestic violence centers adhere to the ADA and FHA.
  6. 6. The American With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2011The American With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2011 (ADAAA) and FHA Definition of a Disability is:(ADAAA) and FHA Definition of a Disability is:  a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (sometimes referred to in the regulations as an “actual disability”); or  a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited a major life activity (“record of”); or  when a covered entity takes an action prohibited by the ADA because of an actual or perceived impairment that is not both transitory and minor (“regarded as”).
  7. 7. Examples of DisabilitiesExamples of Disabilities Cognitive Disabilities Mental Health Disabilities  Aphasia  Brain injury  Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)  Dyslexia  Language Delay  Learning disabilites  Obsessive-compulsive disorder  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  Major depression  Bipolar disorder (also referred to as manic- depressive illness)  Schizophrenia  Personality Disorders
  8. 8. Examples of DisabilitiesExamples of Disabilities Mobility/Physical Disabilities Sensory Disabilities  Partial or total paralysis  Amputation  Spinal injury  Arthritis  Muscular dystrophy  Multiple sclerosis  Cerebral Palsy  Blindness or visual impairments  Deaf or Hard of Hearing  Tactile processing delays  Sensory integration disorder
  9. 9. Domestic Violence and DisabilityDomestic Violence and Disability  Women living with disabilities have a greater risk of violence than women without disabilities.  The most common perpetrators of violence against women living with disabilities are their male partners.  Women with disabilities are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women without disabilities. Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.(2011). Violence Against Women With Disabilities [Data file]. Retrieved from with-disabilities.html 9
  10. 10. People Living with Disabilities are atPeople Living with Disabilities are at an Increased Risk of Victimizationan Increased Risk of Victimization  For longer periods of time 11.3 years vs. 7.1 years in situations of physical abuse 8.3 years vs. 4.1 years in situations of sexual abuse.  By multiple perpetrators over a life time.  Trauma often not considered in a medical model.  Victims of violence are at risk of permanent disability: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Physical Disabilities. 10 Nosek, M. Ph.D., & Hughes, R. Ph.D.(2002). Violence Against Women With Physical Disabilities Retrieved from
  11. 11. Types of Abuse Perpetrated Against Participants LivingTypes of Abuse Perpetrated Against Participants Living with a Disabilitywith a Disability  Disability-related emotional abuse may include threats of abandonment, belittling, or accusation of faking.  Destroying assistive equipment such as: hearing aids, canes and even service animals  Withholding finances, misusing or delaying needed supports or medications.  Disability-related physical abuse may include being restrained or left in a wheelchair for days.
  12. 12. Types of Abuse Perpetrated Against Participants LivingTypes of Abuse Perpetrated Against Participants Living with a Disabilitywith a Disability  Calling the participant CRAZY, NUTS, HYSTERICAL.  Telling friends and co-workers that the participant has a mental illness.  Threatening to take the children away stating courts will not allow a CRAZY person to have custody of a child.
  13. 13. Becoming AccessibleBecoming Accessible 1st Decide as an agency to become accessible. 2nd Consider how each service may be accessed by people living with different disabilities. 3rd Adjust programs to be accessible to all.
  14. 14. FHA and Reasonable AccommodationsFHA and Reasonable Accommodations  The FHA makes it unlawful for any person to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford person(s) living with disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” 14 The Fair Housing Act,42 U.S.C. & 3604(f)(3) (B).
  15. 15. Examples of Reasonable AccommodationsExamples of Reasonable Accommodations  Hotline services that are accessible to callers living with a speech or hearing disability like Relay Service access or TDD access.  Private room in shelter if the individual has a immune disorder that prohibits the person from sharing a room.  Installing ramps or lifts in order to give access to individuals living with limited mobility.
  16. 16. Right to AccommodationsRight to Accommodations  Centers should post a notice in residential and non- residential service areas that participants may request reasonable accommodations to make services accessible.
  17. 17. Accessibility and Certified Domestic Violence CentersAccessibility and Certified Domestic Violence Centers  Accessibility is more then physical access, providing auxiliary aids or providing documents in alternate languages. It is about Inclusive Services for ALL Participants!
  18. 18. Inclusive Services/Accessible ServicesInclusive Services/Accessible Services
  19. 19. Example of Inclusive ServicesExample of Inclusive Services  Jane is living with a vision disability and discloses this on a hotline call when seeking information on outreach services.  How should the advocate respond?
  20. 20. The AdvocateThe Advocate’s Response’s Response  Notify the participant when making the appointment that your center provides accommodations free of charge.  An accommodation request may include printing documents with a larger font size.
  21. 21. Creating an Accessible HotlineCreating an Accessible Hotline
  22. 22. HotlineHotline The hotline is your doorway to services Screen In NOT Screen Out X“Can you care for you self?” X“Are you on medication for your mental illness?”
  23. 23. HotlineHotline  TDD and Relay Services.  Do not make assumptions about someone’s speech.  Ask everyone the same qualifying questions.
  24. 24. HotlineHotline  Do ask “Will you need any special accommodations during your stay in shelter?” “You are able to request an accommodation at any time while receiving services from our center”
  25. 25. Auxiliary Aid PlansAuxiliary Aid Plans  Review your agency’s auxiliary aid plan.  Plan ahead and be prepared.  For example, know your local sign language interpreter service.  Do not make assumptions of an individual’s needs or wants.  Ask.  For example, not all individuals who are Blind read Braille.  Some may prefer an audio file or other form of media file of safety planning tools.
  26. 26. Examples of Auxiliary AidsExamples of Auxiliary Aids  Pocket Talker  Certified Sign Language Interpreter  Telecommunication Device for the Deaf  Service Animal  Communication Access Real-time Translation Services
  27. 27. Examples of Auxiliary Aids to Support Safety PlanningExamples of Auxiliary Aids to Support Safety Planning  Create audio files of safety planning tools and provide headphones for individuals to listen to the audio files on the computer or CD player if they have a vision disability.  Be prepared to draft a safety plan using an electronic version or simpler language.  Contact your local Center for Independent Living (CIL) to determine other auxiliary aids that may be used to support safety planning.
  28. 28. Service Animals: American With Disabilities ActService Animals: American With Disabilities Act  Service animal is defined by the ADA as any dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a; physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Service animals must be permitted to accompany people living with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. 28
  29. 29. Documentation of Service AnimalsDocumentation of Service Animals  Under the ADA, you may make only limited inquiries about the service animal. The ADA regulations permit only two inquiries if you are not certain that an animal is a service animal: • Is this animal required because of a disability? • If so, what work or task(s) has the animal been trained to perform?
  30. 30. Emotional Support Animal: Fair Housing ActEmotional Support Animal: Fair Housing Act  The Fair Housing Amendments Act applies to shelter and transitional living programs and requires that if an animal is an emotional support animal and the person needs the support animal in order to have equal access to a dwelling then an emotional support animal must be permitted as a reasonable accommodation.
  31. 31. Practice Tip:Practice Tip:  A recommendation that agencies providing short-term, emergency shelter refrain from requiring documentation of the need for the emotional support animal.  Shelter residents often do not come with documentation, having fled their homes.  If the center’s policy is to ask for documentation, you must ask all participants for the same documentation regarding emotional support animals.
  32. 32. Support Group AccessibilitySupport Group Accessibility  A support group consists of a variety of people and there may be people living with a disability that attend as well as people that have limited English proficiency.  What steps can you take to ensure that people will have equal access to the support group?
  33. 33. Tips to Make Support Groups More AccessibleTips to Make Support Groups More Accessible  Have multiple advocates to facilitate group  List of online support groups  Alternate formats of printed materials  Keep physical accessibility in mind when using an off-site location  Offer auxiliary aids  Convey in spoken words what is distributed in written word  Give the participant enough time to articulate his or her thoughts and do not interrupt or finish sentences for a participant
  34. 34. Another Tip For Accessible Support GroupsAnother Tip For Accessible Support Groups  Language is key to facilitating a productive and accessible support group.
  35. 35. Examples of People First LanguageExamples of People First Language Instead of Saying: Say:  Disabled Person  I work with mentally challenged people  Bob is wheelchair bound  Luke’s a slow learner  My deaf sister  Person living with a disability  I work with people living with a mental health disability  Bob uses a wheelchair  Luke is living with a brain injury  My sister is Deaf
  36. 36. Accessible LanguageAccessible Language Terms to Use: Terms Not to Use:  Mental health disability  Person who uses a wheelchair  Someone of short stature  Person living with a disability  Blind or visual disability  Deaf or Hard of Hearing  Intellectual disability  Non-visible disability  Crazy  Cripple  Dwarf or Midget  Handicap  Physically Challenged  Retard/Retarded  The Disabled  Wheelchair-bound  Suffers from a disability
  37. 37. Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights ActTitle VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act  The U.S. Supreme Court stated that one type of national origin discrimination is discrimination based on a person’s inability to speak, read, write or understand English (Lau v. Nichols (1974))  President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166 in Aug. 2000: "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.”
  38. 38. Limited English Proficiency (LEP)  LEP persons are those individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English.  Recipients of federal financial assistance have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by persons with LEP.
  39. 39. Example of an Accommodation for LEP ParticipantsExample of an Accommodation for LEP Participants  An advocate can have a qualified German language interpreter available to translate for a participant who speaks German as their primary language and requires help completing an application.  The center can have forms available in both English and Spanish for participants who speak Spanish as their primary language.
  40. 40. CertificationCertification  Sign Language Interpreters must be certified by the State of Florida.  Qualified Oral Interpreter- An individual who can competently render a message spoken or written from one language into one or more other languages.
  41. 41. Guidelines on Language InterpretersGuidelines on Language Interpreters  Staff can only act as a sign language interpreter if they are certified by the State of Florida.  Staff can act as qualified foreign language interpreters for participants that identify as LEP.  Sign Language and Foreign Language Interpreters are Provided to the Participant at NO Charge.
  42. 42. What can you do to be accessible?What can you do to be accessible?  Just Ask  Universal Access  Community Resources
  43. 43. Just AskJust Ask  Do not assume every person living with a vision disability, mental health disorder or physical disability requires the same accommodations or faces the same challenges.  It is acceptable to ask questions about a person’s disability once they disclose if the questions are for the sole purpose of providing accessible services, not for gossip or idle curiosity.
  44. 44. Universal AccessUniversal Access Strive to create programs that are accessible to all instead of augmenting services upon request. In other words, be prepared when someone living with a disability accesses your services.
  45. 45. ResourcesResources  Centers for Independent Living (CIL) ◦  Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) ◦  Florida Telecommunication Relay, Inc. (FTRI) ◦
  46. 46. At the conclusion of this training:At the conclusion of this training:  Advocates should be able to identify services that can be modified to be accessible for participants living with a disability.  Advocates should have more understanding of the tactics that perpetrators use to control a participant living with a disability.  Advocates should be able to discuss the meaning of accessible services.
  47. 47. Thank youThank you Thank you for completing this course and good luck on the quiz! You have earned two training hours for this course. Please contact Maggie Cveticanin, Domestic Violence, Disability Compliance and Abuse in Later Life Specialist at or (850) 425-2749 if you have any questions.