Crime Prevention Ottawa has been managing a community partnership called CODA: Connecting on Disability and Abuse for about two years now.
Through awareness workshops for service providers we identified that we needed to break down the complex diversity of differing disabilities. So, we decided to hold a meeting exploring the issue of abuse with a specific group of disabilities – we considered looking at physical disablities or development delay but we finally decided to start with communicative disablities.
CODA partnered with the Canadian Hearing Society, the Aphasia Centre of Ottawa and the Learning Disabilities Association of Ottawa- Carleton to host a half day consultation. At the beginning we thougth that success would be a group of 50 people — but we ended up with 95 registrants! Obviously there is a significantly vulnerable population which needs to be heard on issues of abuse.
A report will be coming a couple of months, but for now I can tell you that the participants LOVED the keynote speaker Alex Carling-Rowland, participated actively in the breakouts and wanted more time to talk!