Print Page
Supporting Deaf Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: Friday, May 19, 2017
2:00 PM

« Go to Upcoming Event List  






New Webinar on Supporting Deaf Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse

May 19, 2017

Supporting Deaf Child Survivors of Sexual Abuse

May 19, 2017-11:00am PT,12:00pm MT,1:00pm CT,2:00pm ET


Research has shown that Deaf children experience abuse and neglect at rates 1.5-3 times higher than hearing children. Compounding this problem, Deaf children experience an array of communication and cultural barriers when getting support from victim services, medical providers, and the criminal justice system. In this training, participants will learn about Deaf culture and communities in the United States and the implications for providing effective services and supports to Deaf survivors. Presenters will share research on the sexual abuse of Deaf children and discuss the many challenges these children face when getting support. Practical skills and resources will be shared to address these barriers and provide services that are culturally and linguistically specific.


Jessalyn Akerman Frank is a graduate of Gallaudet University with a BA in Communications and minor inCriminology, a graduate of the University of Minnesota with Masters in Special Education with a focus in Deaf Education, a recent graduate of Deaf Life Coach program. She managed the Deaf Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program in Minnesota for over 12 years, and provided direct service and legal advocacy for survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. As an experienced certified deaf and legal advocate she provides ongoing trainings which focus on advocacy, working with service providers, interpreters, law enforcement, probation officers, advocates and many other collaborations. She is often a featured guest presenter, keynote speaker, educator and trainer focusing on her passion which is workingwith survivors. Currently, she has many contracts with different organizations to provide consultant expertise. One of her main contracts is with the Commission for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesota, where she does lobbying work and works on civic engagement projects. She has contracts working with Law enforcement, the legal and the court system. Her current project challenge is working with the counties and the system to mandate the 40 hour anger management, and domestic abuse training for all deaf and hard of hearing perps instead of waiving it because there is no specialized service or interpreters were too expensive. Her most recent pride and joy is the founding of a new non‑profit organization, Deaf Equity with 5 other founding members who all believe in fulfilling service gaps in the community. Deaf Equity focuses on Education, Civic Engagement, Empowerment and Advocacy. As a community centric person, who is passionate about her work, she uses her training and education in Self‑Care, Deaf Yoga, Life Coaching and Empowerment to support survivors in rebuilding their lives, which is one of the organizations’ primary goals.

Nancy Smith is the Director of the Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice. She has been working to end violence against people with disabilities for more than 15 years and has been partnering with Deaf communities across the country as a hearing ally to end violence against Deaf people for ten years. She has been responsible for the development, launch, and oversight of Vera’s initiatives that address abuse of people with disabilities, as well as those that promote culturally and linguistically specific interventions for Deaf survivors. She works closely with communities around the country to improve services for survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors; is a national speaker and trainer on a wide-range of issues related to disability, Deaf culture, and victimization; facilitates national roundtables on topics ranging from preventing sexual abuse of children with disabilities to enhancing law enforcement responses to Deaf victims; and authors reports on the topic, including Forging New Collaborations: A Guide for Rape Crisis, Domestic Violence, and Disability Organizations, Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities: A National Snapshot, and Culture, Language, and Access: Key Considerations for Serving Deaf Survivors. Prior to coming to Vera, Nancy directed a collaboration of more than 40 agencies working together to prevent family violence across the life spectrum, including abuse of people with disabilities. Nancy has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and women’s studies and a master’s degree in women’s studies with a concentration in feminist policy studies from the Ohio State University.



Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal