Friday, April 18, 2008

The Whole Truth

Warning Blatant Promotional Information Warning

For several years I have been working, on and off, on a brand new abuse prevention training curriculum for people with disabilities. It was to be a curriculum that taught about recognizing the boundary violations and the grooming that leads to abuse by staff and then taught the steps that happened after abuse was reported, talking to the police, going to have a 'rape kit' done at a hospital, giving testimony in court.

The idea was to make a movie. The premise is that two staff apply for a job in a group home, they are both men, one is ungainly (I was typecast) and the other is a really handsome guy. Though one gives the better interview, the other is hired - guess which one. On his first shifts he violates some boundaries, then on his first overnight he molests one of the men in the house, on his second overnight he rapes one of the women. Both individuals are played by people who have disabilities. The woman reports the rape and then goes to a real hospital where we have a real nurse take her through the procedure, getting consent, showing her the instruments that will be used (the actual test of course is not shown) then a real police officer comes in and does the interview. Finally we go into a real courtroom and show the end of the trial with the woman giving testimony. The staff is convicted.

It was exciting to do, everything was as real as possible, from the group home we filmed it, to the actors, all those who were disabled in the film had disabilities in real life. Community Living Essex help coordinate the whole thing, working with the police in Essex, the hospital and courts in Windsor.

That film is on the first disc of the two disc set. The second disc has the same movie but this time there are two people with disabilities Lisette and James, who host the viewing. They work through the film, scene by seen. They tell the viewers what they are going to see and then they come back and ask questions. The job of the teachers of this curriculum is to follow the lead of Lisette and James. To be their assistants. This was our way of ensuring that people with disabilities lead the teaching, even if it's on tape. Remaining in powerful positions, positions of authority, messages are given about competence and value.

It took days to film. It took longer to edit. The book needed to be written, the cd's created with the capacity to scene shift. And it took money. Lots and lots of money. But it is done. We take delivery of the books today. The DVD's are done and packaged. The book is now ready.

If anyone is interested in purchasing the set for training purposes it is now available. By the by, various parts of the film have been tested by some self advocate groups and it's been found to be an exciting teaching tool. The book better explains it's use. The set is not yet 'up' on the website, but I assure you it is available. It costs, hold your breath here it's expensive, $175.00 plus shipping of course.

If you'd like to order write Nikki at and she will work out the shipping cost with you, arrange payment and get it out to you.

I shouldn't say this but I'm really proud of this project. I'm proud of the massive involvement of people with disabilities in the project. I'm proud of the incredible way the community responded, I mean real police officers, real nurses and hospitals and courtrooms. If only the community could always be so collaborative. But finally I must say that Community Living Essex through Nancy Wallace Gero made this all possible. Without their help we'd never have finished it.

So if you are looking for an abuse prevention class all set out for you. I hope you'll give The Whole Truth a try.


lisa6wks said...

Dave what an excellent resource. Congratulations, I hope many people take advantage of it.


RusW said...

Congratulations! It sounds like a great resource. My wife and I are going to buy it and donate it to the agency providing services for our son.

Don't be worried about "blatant promotion". This type of material has to be promoted.

Dave Hingsburger said...

thanks rusw ... what a great idea! also, I always worry about doing this sort of thing, so much so that I think this is the first publication announcement I've ever done on the blog, you made me feel better about it.