Building Access project

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Our Building Access project is an innovative initiative enabling domestic and family violence (DFV) services to better meet the needs of women and children with disability.

Resources on DFV and disability

Handbook on Supporting People with Intellectual Disability who have Experienced Domestic and Family Violence.

This handbook has been created in collaboration with the Queensland–based WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association. The handbook is targeted at the NSW sexual, domestic and family violence (SDFV) sector and aims to develop people’s skills and knowledge on how to support people with intellectual or learning disability who have experienced domestic and family violence.

The below resources were produced by PWDA and DVNSW, and updated in 2021:

  • 30 Ways to Make Your Service More Accessible – PDF and Word
  • Creating an Inclusion Action Plan – PDF and Word
  • Women with Disability and Domestic and Family Violence: A Guide for Policy and Practice – PDF and Word

You can also watch our videos on YouTube.

Easy Read resources

This project is funded by Women NSW.

Woman sitting on a lounge next to a window. Her face is partially hidden in the shadow of her long dark hair and her hand which is covering half of her face and she is looking upset and alone.

About DFV for women and children with disability

Women with disability are approximately 40 per cent more likely to experience Domestic and Family Violence (or DFV), an alarming statistic when considered in the context of Australia’s DFV epidemic.

Many women find it harder to escape violence because DFV services are inaccessible for women with disability. PWDA’s Building Access project aims to increase the accessibility of DFV services for women with disability in New South Wales.

PWDA isa working with our friends at Domestic Violence NSW and Women’s Community Shelters to improve responses for women with disability experiencing violence.

DFV services include but are not limited to:

  • Women’s health centres
  • Counselling services
  • Accommodation and homelessness services
  • Family support services
  • Legal services
  • Women’s resource centres
  • Organisations tackling these issues on a sector-wide systemic level.

Women with disability may experience barriers to accessing services, including:

  • Physical barriers that mean they can’t access services
  • Information about the services may be inaccessible
  • The staff who work at the services may not feel confident supporting women with disability
  • Policies or practices in these services might exclude women with disability.

We can do the following to support DFV services in becoming more accessible:

  • Perform an access review of the service to assess barriers for women with disability to the service
  • Provide a detailed report on physical, information and attitudinal barriers and advice on implementing greater procedural access
  • Provide guidance on how to develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) for DFV services
  • Connect the service to a Community of Practice
  • Provide Disability Awareness and NDIS training

The Building Access project’s Expert Advisory Group is made up of disability advocates, women with disability, violence organisations, government representatives and other people who are interested in the project.

Enquiries

Please feel free to contact Freya Higgins on 0370 3100 or freyah@pwd.org.au if you have any questions or would like more information.

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