Zero Tolerance Initiative > Additional Resources

Below are some links to Internet sites and materials providing additional information and resources related to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of persons with developmental disabilities.

Please note: The State of Florida and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked website. APD does not necessarily endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites and does not necessarily endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer. APD cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked website. APD is not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked websites.
Disability Services ASAP provides education to people with disabilities in order to increase awareness about sexual abuse/assault, domestic violence and abuse by personal care providers, personal safety planning, healthy relationships and sexuality. Presentations and training are also available to professionals and family members on a range of issues including disability awareness/sensitivity, the dynamics of abuse in relationships involving an individual with a disability, developing accessible and relevant services, safety planning, providing personal safety education to persons with disabilities, etc.
This document provides information and tips for providing sexuality education information to youth with disabilities as a means by which to prevent sexual abuse.
Lauren’s Kids is based in South Florida and educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention through in-school curricula, awareness campaigns and speaking engagements around the country and the world. The organization also leads an annual, statewide “Walk in My Shoes” awareness walk across the state of Florida – 1,500 miles from Key West to Tallahassee – and provides more than 7 million education and awareness materials statewide through direct mail every year. The foundation has helped advocate for the passage of nearly two dozen laws to support survivors and protect children from predators. The ultimate goal is to prevent sexual abuse through education and awareness, and to help survivors heal with guidance and support.
Crime and abuse are critical issues in the lives of people with disabilities. Research shows that individuals with disabilities are at a greater risk for being a victim of a crime than other individuals. To find solutions to these complex issues it is critical to have accurate and comprehensive information available to a variety of professionals and stakeholders. The Victims of Crime with Disabilities Resource Guide project is designed to provide a variety of tools and services which help disseminate and share information on ending violence against people with disabilities.
The Florida Council Against Sexual violence is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to victims and survivors of sexual violence and the rape crisis programs who serve them.
The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) works towards ending violence through public awareness, policy development, and support for Florida's domestic violence centers. Serving Florida's 41 domestic violence centers, FCADV runs Florida's toll-free domestic violence hotline, maintains a resource library, and develops posters, brochures, safety plans, and other resources.
This feature issue of Impact Magazine (published by the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota) provides articles and resources pertaining to violence committed against women with developmental disabilities.
The Florida Attorney General's Division of Victim Services not only serves as an advocate for crime victims and victims' rights, it also administers a compensation program to ensure financial assistance for innocent victims of crime. As part of its responsibility, the division also notifies victims of the status of any appellate decisions regarding their cases. Injured crime victims may be eligible for financial assistance for medical care, lost income, mental health services, funeral expenses and other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the injury. If needed, they can also be referred to support organizations within their home area (which may be accessed via their website as well).
Stop It Now! was founded in 1992 by Fran Henry, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who recognized that standard ideas about preventing sexual abuse of children weren't working. Stop It Now! believes that all adults must accept the responsibility to recognize, acknowledge and confront the behaviors that lead to the sexual abuse of children. This website offer adults tools they can use to prevent sexual abuse - before there's a victim to heal or an offender to punish. In collaboration with their network of community-based Stop It Now! programs, they reach out to adults who are concerned about their own or others' sexualized behavior toward children.
For a child or adolescent with developmental disabilities, the more family and the school communicate with each other the better support there will be for them to experience as fully as possible their sexuality in a healthy and safe way. It is critical that parents, caregivers and educators have a resource and the knowledge to help individuals with developmental disabilities discover their sexuality. Hence, the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council sponsored the development of the following publications:

  • Life Span Holistic Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities
  • An Annotated Resource List
  • Sexuality Policy and Procedures for schools and parents/caregivers
  • An Instructional Manual for Educators of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
  • An Instructional Manual for Parents of and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Suggestions by persons who use augmentative communication devices include:

  • Tips for Communicating About Your Boundaries
  • Phrases to Communicate About Your Boundaries
  • Suggested Phrases for use with ACDs
"Introduction to Sexuality Education for Individuals who are Deaf-Blind and Significantly Developmentally Delayed" is a 126-page document which is written much like a curriculum and provides good background and some specific content. While it is written about children and teens who are Deaf-Blind, it is also an excellent general disabilities resource. The chapters include an introduction, guidelines for developing a process for intervention and instruction, and topics such as modesty, appropriate touch and personal boundaries, menstruation, sexual health care, sexual abuse, and a resources section.
This link to the Arc's Justice Advocacy Guide was produced by The Arc of the United States and is subtitled "An Advocate's Guide on Assisting Victims and Suspects/Defendants with Intellectual Disabilities." It offers a comprehensive description of the challenges faced by those persons with intellectual disabilities who have either been victimized or accused of committing crimes as well as practical information for advocates working with these individuals.
The resources provided on this website were developed by DiAnn Baxley, Project Director, Anna Zendell, and Jeanne Matich-Maroney as part of a grant from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, in collaboration with the University at Albany, Center on Intellectual Disabilities. The materials are designed to open dialogue between school and home on the topic of providing sexuality education to children and adolescents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
This report discusses issues related to the prevention and reporting of sexual abuse committed against persons who use augmentative communication devices. The detailed appendix contains a number of related websites and resources.
The resources available via the link above offer an extensive collection of research papers, articles and curriculum (provided free of charge) related to the subject of abuse prevention.

In addition, several other comprehensive web-based training programs on this subject are also available and may be accessed by clicking on their respective links below: