Quality Mall Product: Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program)
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Product Information Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program)

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 Full Description: 
This is an innovative approach in Texas that may serve as a useful model for communities everywhere. it is a statewide abuse prevention, education, and counseling program for people with disabilities. The Personal Safety Awareness Center is a program of SafePlace: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survival Center in Austin, Texas. Both violence prevention and disability advocacy groups have recognized the program with awards.

The approach is to empower people with disabilities with information in a manner that is appropriate for their abilities and learning styles. There are classes and support groups for people with a variety of disabilities. There are tough issues tackled, like how to talk with a boyfriend or girlfriend, how to know when it is safe, how to respond to unwanted sexual or physical touches or behaviors. The program works with people in community settings, independent living centers, Arc affiliates, special education classes, state schools, group homes, sheltered workshops, and other settings.

They also offer the KidSAFE program for children with disabilities, provided in their home schools. Teaching concepts include: building awareness of emotions and personal boundaries, identifying different types of touches, asserting one's right to say "no" to unwanted touch, escaping frightening people and sitatuions, and identifying and telling a trusted adult about abuse that occurs.

The program also offers "train the trainer" programs through Regional Education Service Centers in Texas.

The program began as a "project of national significance" with funding from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. They also provide training to domestic violence shelters, family members of individuals with disabilities, and professionals in the disability field or in sexual assault centers. They also offer free counseling to people with disabilities who have experienced sexual exploitation, domestic violence, or abuse by a caregiver. They have a resource lending library of educational materials and curricula.
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This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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