Exciting News!

August 14, 2019

BTS Co-Director Linda Sandman, along with her colleague and friend Katie Frank, recently had an article published in Sexuality and Disability. Katie is an Occupational Therapist who received her PhD in Disability Studies at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago). She now works for the Adult Down Syndrome Clinic at Lutheran General.

The title of the article is:"Supporting Parents as Sexuality Educators for Individuals with Intellectual Disability: The Development of the Home B.A.S.E Curriculum".

In the article, Linda and Katie focused on the curriculum development for Home B.A.S.E., the parent sexuality education curriculum they have been working on for some years now and was the subject of Katie's dissertation research.

We're busy writing up more of the findings from our work and will keep you posted!

https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11195-019-09582-7?author_access_token=DnvbGMsGLqkNDIW3DIITGPe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4lG-q4pdGGL1CgMLKWAGxQzoRtdMM3HqcR1onzcxJyp13ufyfm-mdWJLhTGM34Af5-pXDrUZSZ-LhYuwOOrItwb-g_Qnyvdxi2FDsohlSJDw%3D%3D

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~April 26, 2019

The series on Sex, Love and Life: Navigating Womanhood with Disabilities is now online. It is separated by segments, so you can watch each one independently. BTS Co-Director Linda Sandman is featured in a segment about Illinois Imagines Chicago.

Check it out at https://www.newsy.com/stories/initiative-takes-on-sexual-violence-in-disability-community/

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Trauma-Informed Person-Centered Planning: A Guide for People with Disabilities and the Professionals and Family Members Who Provide Supports

Blue Tower Solutions, Inc. is thrilled to share a new resource responding to the fact that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience high rates of trauma in their lives. We hope to start a conversation about how to incorporate trauma-informed care into the person-centered planning process. The Trauma-Informed Person-Centered Planning Guide can be found at file:///G:/Not%20For%20Profit%20Information/Trauma%20Informed%20Person%20Centered%20Planning%20Guide%20-%20Final%209.13.18.pdf.

Please share with others and join the conversation. Let us know what you can do to join the movement to be more trauma responsive.

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Blue Tower Solutions Co-directors are engaged in high impact work across Illinois and the country. Following are some examples of this work:

Members of the Illinois Imagines State Planning Team and Public Policy Committee. Illinois Imagines is a federally funded project in Illinois to create collaborations between disability service providers, rape crisis centers and self-advocates in order to strengthen the response of the service delivery system and reduce sexual violence against women with disabilities.  

Members of the Envision Illinois State Planning Team. Envision Illinois is a federally funded partnership between key Illinois stakeholders from the fields of mental health, disability, domestic violence along with self-advocates. The focus of the project is to address domestic violence in the lives of people with disabilities and Deaf people in Illinois.

Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance. A Blue Tower Solutions co-director serves as the Organizational Director for the Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance, an umbrella organization for self-advocacy groups in Illinois.

Proud & Included. A Blue Tower Solutions Co-director served as Project Consultant and Self-Advocacy training leader for Proud & Included. This project was funded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities in order to provide outreach and build community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cook County who identify as LGBTQ.

Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council (IFVCC) Responding to Victims with Disabilities Committee Chairperson.  The IVFCC Responding to Victims with Disabilities Committee is currently updating and enhancing protocols for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors to assist them when working with victims of crime who are older adults or people with disabilities.  In addition to this work BTS members serve on the IFVCC steering committee and the domestic violence protocol revision work groups.

The following protocols, “Responding to Victims with Disabilities and Older Adults Who Experience Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation”, provide guidance for law enforcement personnel and prosecutors on best practices when a a person with a disability or who is an older adult is a victim of sexual assault.  With over one hundred pages of resources including information about trauma informed response, communication techniques and more, the revised protocols give prosecutors and law enforcement tools they need to do the best job possible with these populations.


Consultation and Training services provided across Illinois and the U.S. on topics such as healthy sexuality for people with disabilities; strengthening trauma-informed services for people with disabilities; and promoting inclusion and healthy relationships for people with disabilities.