142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

IMPACT:Ability: Empowering Teens with Disabilities to Prevent Violence and Abuse

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Meg Stone, MPH , IMPACT, Malden, MA
Population-based research consistently shows that people with disabilities face disproportionately high risk for sexual and physical abuse victimization yet few interventions exist to give these individuals the tools to interrupt attempted violence or advocate for themselves in the face of coercion and boundary violations. IMPACT:Ability is a 10-session safety and self-advocacy training for people with disabilities. The aim of the program is to increase the participants’ knowledge, confidence, and skills to communicate assertively, protect themselves from imminent harm, resist isolation behaviors and bribery that are common tactics used by perpetrators of sexual abuse, and advocate for themselves – becoming active participants in making decisions that affect their lives. This session will report on the evaluation of  IMPACT:Ability conducted by the Institute for Community Health (ICH) at Cambridge Health Alliance, which found statistically significant increases in knowledge, self-efficacy, and sense of safety. The evaluation also found behavior changes-- students significantly increased the number of times they refused unwanted attention. The intervention group was compared to a wait-list comparison group and no such changes were found in that group. Results of the 1-year follow-up evaluation, which was completed in June 2014, will be available for presentation by the time of the APHA Annual Meeting. This evaluation represents a significant contribution to the field as it is the first published evaluation to focus on young women and men who reside in low-income urban areas.


Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the IMPACT:Ability intervention and the ways in which evaluation has shown its effectiveness in increasing self-efficacy of students with disabilities. Discuss the unique evaluation challenges in collecting meaningful data from students with low literacy and significant intellectual disabilities and the ways in which the IMPACT:Ability evaluation protocol met these challenges. Analyze ways in which school-based violence prevention interventions in their home cities and towns can be made accessible to special educaiton students.

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director of IMPACT:Ability, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded program that empowers people with disabilities and communities to prevent abuse. External evaluation of this program conducted by the Institute for Community Health at the Cambridge Health Alliance found statistically significant changes in knowledge, self-efficiacy, and safety-related behaviors. Also, ours is one of the few evaluation protocols specifically designed to collect data from individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.