INTERSECTIONS: Coming Together to Better Serve Sexual Assault Survivors with Disabilities

Intersections is a collaboration between Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), Boulder and Broomfield Counties’ rape crisis center, and Imagine!, the primary provider of developmental disability services in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. The context of this work is situated in the epidemic levels of sexual abuse with people with disabilities. This collaboration endeavors to create sustainable, systemic changes within both organizations that will result in exceptional services for sexual assault survivors with disabilities in our community.

The Intersections project is in the fourth year (since 2009) and is funded by the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). In this final quarter of the project, Intersections is close to completing the deliverables proposed in the Intersections strategic plan. As the Intersections wraps up its project work, the collaboration is proud to report out its achievements during the implementation phase.

The Intersections collaboration has successfully accomplished the following milestones contributing towards the larger goal of enhancing services for sexual assault survivors with developmental disabilities.

  • Created the innovative Organizational Culture Review Tool (OCRT) for systemic review of the organization’s culture at both MESA and Imagine!. The OCRT comprises of the following chapters:
    • Policy and Procedure Review Tool (PnP); reviewed identified policies and procedures for being more trauma-informed and disability-aware and developed a report of recommendations for MESA and Imagine!.
    • Safety and Accessibility Review Tool (S&A); reviewed the organizational culture (physical environment, information & communication environment, programmatic and attitudinal environments) at MESA and Imagine! pilot sites. Developed a comprehensive report of recommendations for enhancing the organizational culture to be more accessible, responsive, safe and welcoming for survivors with developmental disabilities.
  •  Formulated MESA’s Accommodations Policy and Procedures.
  • Developed the Sexual Assault Against People with Disabilities 101 training curriculum for Imagine!.
  • Developed the 83%: The Intersection of Disability and Sexual Violence curriculum for cross-organizational training at MESA and Imagine!.
  • Organized the Intersections Workshop Series for MESA and Imagine! staff, volunteers & interns:
    • Care for the Caregivers: Understanding Vicarious Trauma & Self Care by Katie Asmus.
    • 83%: The Intersection of Disability & Sexual Violence by Caitlin Looney (Mental Health Therapist, Dayspring, Imagine!) & Ashley Cohn (Community Education & Training Coordinator, MESA).
    • The Intersection of Disability & Sexual Violence: Safety & People with Disabilities-The Tools by Roberta Sick.The Intersections collaboration, beyond the life of the grant, with its limited capacity and resources is deeply committed to continue working on the long-term recommendations and systemic changes as part of the respective organizations. MESA and Imagine! moving forward shall continue to liaise, share expertise and remain an incredible resource for each other to better serve sexual assault survivors with developmental disabilities.

As Intersections- Project Manager, I would like this opportunity to thank all the participating members, workgroup members, executive committee members, core team members, grant consultant and OVW for their invaluable contribution, support and guidance throughout the project work. We could not have achieved what we have without you. Thank You!

For more information:

    • community-communities/boulder-co

Sanjukta Chaudhuri,
Project Manager, Intersections