Tool Kit : Sexual Assault Awareness for People with Developmental Disabilities

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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Individuals with developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities. As always, our team at Elevatus Training believes that education is the first line of defense in preventing sexual abuse. With this in mind, we aim to support all your training needs, and that’s why we have created a toolkit filled with educational articles and resources to support you. Together let’s raise awareness and educate people about this issue!

New 2022 Resources

Free Online Workshop Recording: Going Upstream: How to Get Legislation Passed in Support of Sexuality Education for Individuals with I/DD

“Going Upstream” is a public health term used to describe what’s causing the issues that we see in our schools and our communities. When we look upstream we find a surprising lack of state mandated requirements or laws for people with disabilities to receive sexuality education. No wonder we see high rates of sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, charged with a sex crime, losing ones job, and loneliness in this population. This group of people are experiencing these results in part because they lack basic sexuality education knowledge and skills.

Abuse Awareness and Prevention

People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by all forms of abuse, including sexual assault. In an effort to prevent sexual assault and other forms of abuse for people with disabilities, the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) partnered with other organizations to develop the Abuse Awareness and Prevention Guide

Teaching Tools

Photos: Posting on Social Media

A teaching tool for people with disabilities that covers the differences between public and private photos and which are safe to post online.

8 Tips for Staying Safe on the Internet

We all have seen it. People with disabilities who post private information on Facebook, make themselves vulnerable on the Internet, or text “sexual selfies” to let someone know that they like them. Here are eight tips to use with people with disabilities to help them stay safe.

Sexual Assault Activity

Here’s an activity to use with the people you work with understand what sexual abuse is, how to indentify it and protect themselves.

Healthy Boundaries Lesson

It’s your body and you get to decide what’s right for you. This teaching tool is complete with video clip examples that helps people with I/DD identify different types of relationships, ways to touch, and what topics to discuss in those relationships. Just knowing these general rules helps us avoid crossing other’s boundaries and have someone cross our personal boundaries.

Articles & Website Resources

Knowledge is Power

An article by Katherine McLaughlin, Elevatus Training Founder and Director of Training.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change.

People with Intellectual Disabilities and Sexual Violence

From The Arc.

Kecia’s Story

A woman with developmental disabilities and sexual assault survivor-turned-advocate shares her #MeToo story.

End Abuse of People with Disabilities

This website is a place to connect with others engaged in this work, to access the latest resources and research from the field, and to advance the thinking around intervention and prevention.

NPR Series: Abused and Betrayed

This series focuses on a year long investigation into the hidden epidemic of sexual assault on people with developmental disabilities.

Autism Housing Network

Ten Point Guide on Responding to Suspected Abuse of People with Developmental Disabilities

Recognizing Survivors of All Ages & Abilities This Domestic Violence Awareness Month

From the Administration for Community Living.

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) Addressing Sexual Violence & Neglect Report

Talk About Sexual Violence

From The Arc.

Access videos and accompanying resources to support health care professionals to talk to their patients with I/DD about sexual violence.

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Disability Justice & Violence Prevention Resource Hub

Statewide efforts support to prevent violence and enhance independence and wellness among people with disabilities.

Learn more here:


Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality: Becoming a Sexuality Educator and Trainer

A 3-Day certificate training for anyone who works with people with developmental disabilities and wants to lead sexuality education classes and staff/parent training.

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Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality 101

This 6-module, online course offers you a proven, nuts-and-bolts approach to discussing sexuality and responding to behaviors. You’ll come away feeling more skillful, comfortable and confident when discussing sexuality with the people you serve.

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Online Workshop Recording: Preventing People with I/DD from Becoming Offenders, Suspects, and Inmates

As sexuality educators we understand our role in preventing abuse, but what topics and strategies need to be used for preventing offending behaviors? In this workshop we will hear a personal story from a young man with a disability and his father. Through this personal story we will hear about prevention efforts that may have helped with this situation. We will also review statistics and examine what topics and strategies are important to use in your classes or one-on-one conversation.

Learn more here:


Sexuality Education for People with Developmental Disabilities Curriculum

This 350-page, one-of-a-kind curriculum has been field-tested and praised by experts and laypeople alike. It’s cognitively accessible and designed for teams of self-advocates, staff and teachers to co-lead an inspiring and engaging sexuality class. There is also a section that focuses on helping individuals with I/DD learn about healthy relationships and when to recognize when things go bad.

Learn more here:

Building Healthy Relationships at Work for People with Developmental Disabilities Curriculum

This 12 lesson curriculum will help you teach people with Developmental Disabilities how to navigate all types of relationships including co-worker relationships and also, become great employees. Topics include healthy/unhealthy relationships and what to do if you are being harassed or experience abuse.

Learn more here:

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