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The Initiative’s outreach program is focused on making state resources accessible to disabled survivors of abuse. With this mission in mind, our outreach focuses on victim service organizations, disability organizations, the criminal justice system, and any other miscellaneous groups that work with victims of abuse, persons with disabilities, or both. Our trainings are tailored to your organization’s needs and are always designed to be lively and engaging. The Initiative’s Outreach Program’s goal is to conduct free community awareness education to ensure that community agencies serving survivors with disabilities are aware of the unique needs of marginalized communities and of their accessibility concerns. The goal for this program is to create systemic improvement by removing barriers to access existing services.
While we strive to provide financially accessible community education, donations are always greatly appreciated!
The Initiative’s Cross-Training provides a brief overview of disability and the importance of understanding intersectionality and ableism as frameworks when serving people with disabilities. Our Cross-Training covers our programs, including our Bicultural Advocacy Program, our LGBTQ+ Advocacy Program, and our Rural Advocacy Program. It also covers our services which aim to empower survivors to overcome barriers to safety, reach self-sufficiency, access justice, and continue healing. Finally, our Cross-Training facilitates an interactive and creative discussion regarding best practices for collaboration and referrals between specific agencies and The Initiative. Cross Training is included in all of our other presentations and is available in Spanish.
(30 minute dynamic meeting, where we often send our staff to learn about your services as well)
“Disability and Ableism 101” introduces audiences to the basics of disability, disability culture, the ADA, Disability Justice, and ableism. This training is appropriate for community members, professionals in any field, and anybody who interacts with the disability community (which is everyone!). The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 Americans have a disability, and disability rates tend to be even higher in other historically marginalized communities due to the impacts of systemic oppression. This presentation aims to shift the dominant perspective of disability away from the “medical/pathological model” and encourages audiences to embrace the “social model” and the “justice model” of disability instead, leaning on the intersectional work of disability justice activists like Mia Mingus, Talila “TL” Lewis, Alice Wong, Imani Barbarin, Patty Berne, and others. This training covers the definitions of disability, cross-disability, and ableism, touches on the unique cultures of various disabled identities, language preferences of the disability community, the effects of ableism, and standard best practices for working with disabled people.
Corporations have a suggested donation of $250.
(60-90 minutes of training)
“Disability and Abuse 101: Overcoming Barriers to Safety” introduces audiences to the essential intersections of abuse and disability. People with disabilities experience marginalization due to ableism, a set of beliefs and practices that devalue and discriminate against people with disabilities, and often rests on the assumption that people with disabilities need to be ‘fixed’, in one form or another. People with disabilities experience unemployment at disproportionate rates, as well as unequal access to education and affordable housing. People with disabilities also experience abuse at disproportionate rates, due to the perceived vulnerability of people with disabilities and less likelihood of being believed when reporting abuse. “Disability and Abuse 101: Overcoming Barriers to Safety” focuses on the ways that systemic, interpersonal, and personal prejudice and discrimination increase the vulnerability of people with disabilities to abuse. It addresses the complex barriers and accessibility concerns people with disabilities face when requesting services or receiving justice. “Disability and Abuse 101: Overcoming Barriers to Safety” hopes to inspire and challenge our communities to better understand the vulnerability of the disability community and to collaborate to keep this community safe, and make restorative justice, healing, and radical access possible to all. This training is available in Spanish.
(60-90 minutes of training)
At this moment, it is critical to consider gender and sexuality in a way that is deeply intersectional. As a disability-centered organization, The Initiative aims to explore and engage gender and sexuality through the frame of accessibility. It is important, first, to expand the meaning of accessibility--who or what do we most frequently discuss when it comes to accessibility issues? Are our conversations limited to physical barriers to accessibility, or do they include institutional and attitudinal barriers to accessibility? What, then, are specific physical, institutional, and attitudinal barriers that members of the LGBTQ+ community face when accessing services? How do other intersections of identity compound and complicate these questions around accessibility? The connections between disability, gender, and sexuality are many and multi-faceted, and The Initiative believes that accessibility serves as a perfect entry point. Gender and Sexuality 101: At the Intersections of Accessibility will cover pronoun usage, deconstructing the gender binary, the differences between gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, the importance of language, brief histories of oppression, and more, all with the aim of making our services, our communities, and our relationships radically accessible for all. This workshop was featured at the CAIA Conference, 2020.
(60-90 minutes of training)
At this moment, it is critical to consider culturally responsive advocacy in a way that is intersectional, dynamic and centers the voices of impacted communities in their own liberation. In Colorado, Latino/x communities comprise 21.5% of the population, making it the state’s largest racial and ethnic minority group. Living at the margins of systems of power can, in and of itself, create barriers for Latino/x communities to reach safety, self-sufficiency, justice, and healing. When considering additional marginalized identities, such as disability, rurality, and interpersonal and institutional violence, these barriers compound and become ever more complex. In working side-by-side with, and listening to, Latino/x communities, The Initiative recognizes four main barriers when Latino/x communities seek services. These barriers include lack of accessible information, the internalization of patriarchy and values of familism, documentation status, and racist and xenophobic stigmas attached to Latino/x communities. “The Latino/x Community: Overcoming Barriers to Safety” will address these barriers in-depth, as well as the fears, stigmas, and systems of power that interlay them. “The Latino/x Community: Overcoming Barriers to Safety” will also enable an interactive discussion on best practices when working with diverse Latino/x communities. It is imperative that Latino/x survivors of abuse receive services that meet them in their unique experiences, identities, and complex histories.
(60-90 minutes of training)
“What is Abuse? Looking at Violence Through an Intersectional Lens” aims to explore the dynamics of abuse in a broad sense, touching on the core elements of abuse that go beyond labels like “D.V.” or “Rape” to investigate how power and control also play into systemic violence. The training purposefully centers the perspectives of intersectional feminist thinkers like Kimberly Crenshaw, and while it is not specifically an anti-racism training, it is firmly rooted in anti-racist framework. This training is meant to involve discussions with the audience and encourages attendees to critically engage with what they may have already been taught about abusive dynamics. With an emphasis on how a persons’ various identities shape their experience with power and control, this training covers how we talk about abuse, different types of abuse, case studies, and what might happen after abuse occurs. This training will explore our tendency to use binary thinking about abuse and how we can embrace a much more inclusive, transformative conception of healing. This is a 101 training, but takes a radically different perspective on violence from other Power and Control 101 presentations. Because of the discussion based element, this training is easily customizable for various levels of familiarity with abuse dynamics.
(90-120 minutes of training)
Rural victim advocacy is an often overlooked branch of anti-abuse activist work. Perhaps it is because of underfunding and underreporting, or because of the difficulty and delicacy of the work. Rural survivors face challenges specific to their location, but they also face the challenges that come along with being a survivor, and in many cases, having disabilities. Doing rural advocacy cannot simply be overcoming barriers stemming from location, but it must also encompass the ways that a survivor’s multiple identities intersect with their rural location. Advocating for survivors includes navigating and utilizing all of the resources that both the survivor and the advocate have in a way that prioritizes the goals of the individual and maintains safety. To do this, it is necessary to understand a holistic model of a rural survivor’s experience. This presentation will cover the concept of “rurality” which is often difficult to define, discrimination against rural people, rurality in Colorado, the diversity of rural communities, and challenges that rural survivors of abuse might face. The advocacy required for these survivors is as unique as each small town in Colorado, and in order to provide the best advocacy that we possibly can, it is essential that we understand not only the barriers that each community faces, but also the strengths that each community has.
(60 minutes of training)
A recent study of survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the Denver area found that 56% of survivors screened positive for a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) compared to just 9% of the general population (Gagnon & DePrince, 2016). Brain injury symptoms are often not considered during service planning as many people with brain injuries do not seek treatment following their injury. This workshop will cover basic information about brain injuries, the unique challenges faced by survivors of IPV who have a brain injury, and ways that professionals can more effectively engage this population in services and treatment. This presentation was featured at the COVA Conference, 2020.
(60-90 minutes of training)
Check back soon for the following trainings: