I was a bit late for this session which ended up running late. Since I had to get back over to the Marriott, I didn't get to hear the whole thing. I will email the presenter for the notes she said she could send me.
First, the basics were covered. This was stuff I learned about in health class, the types of abuse in general and what the warning signs were. Then, the specifics to having a disability were discussed. People with a disability have different opportunities for abuse. When you need help with things (being turned, having a home health aid, even using a reader), you have the potential for abuse. If the home health aid leaves early or late as revenge or spitefully, there can be some huge problems. The abuser can withhold medications or needed assistive technology. The abuser can also damage the technology.
The escape from the abusive environment is tricky as well. The person may have to leave without their technology or mobility aid. The shelter may not be accessible. Even the information on whoto call probably isn't in accessible format.
There was more that I missed, but this is the basic idea. I enjoyed this presentation immensely. If I go into social work, I will want to help in any way I can. Knowing the obstacles is important. Knowing that this important issue is getting out there for discussion is a very good thing. No one wants to think about abuse. It's not a light topic for the dinner table. But it is important, and abuse, like any difficult distructive issue, doesn't discriminate. The sooner we implement inclusive systems to address these issues, the better.
Some of you may know the presenter of this session, but since I don't have permission to link to the presenters journal, I'm just going to give his name. Noel Romey was the presenter and he did a great job. He figured out how to make a highly graphical chemical engeneering program accessible. Basically, it blew me away. I was slightly better at science than math, but still not great. He was able to connect little pictures in the software to design this chemical plant. Then, he can emboss it on a Tiger embosser to get a look at it. I'm doing a bad job of explaining this, but I was pretty much amazed. I don't want to hear that it's not possible for blind people to do stuff with science again...