Accessible Services for All! - Best Practices from Iceland
In October 2013, Stigamot, in cooperation with people with disabilities and their representative organizations, as well as with the Ministry of Welfare, organized a conference about sexual violence against persons with disabilities that was attended by 300 people and put the topic on the agenda.
In March 2014, Stigamot moved their services into a more accessible location and hired an expert in disability human rights with an educational background in law, social pedagogy and disability studies. By doing so, Stigamot has been trying to further reach disabled survivors of sexual violence with outreach efforts aimed at going into the institutions and the organisations of people with disabilities as well as reaching professionals working with disabilities and the public. Stigamot has been raising awareness about disability and violence and invited experts in the field from Sweden to host seminars and conferences.
Stigamot also networks with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations about how to make their services more accessible. Stigamot created a section on their website with easy-to-read material about sexual violence and their services. They translated a Swedish booklet with pictogram pictures that can support people with communications difficulties to disclose about violence. Afterwards, they translated and dubbed Swedish short films about violence against women with disabilities that can be used as educational material and for creating awareness raising.
Stigamot's plan was to create self-help groups for disabled women, but at the same time, powerful women with disabilities formed their own organization, Tabu, focusing on intersectional disability feminist activism. Stigamot has been cooperating with Tabu and realized that they were also going to run their own self-help groups empowering women and raising consciousness about their rights including freedom from violence. The conclusion was that they use Sitgamot's house for their self help groups and are doing great work with women with a variety of disabilities. The group is getting bigger and bigger, and they have been taking up space in media writing great articles as well as taught Stigamot a lot about ableism. Stigamot changed their definition about violence, learning about the multiple forms of violence that they have experienced and were unaware of.
During the WAVE Conference 2016 in Berlin, Germany from 19-21 October, Tabu representative Embla Gudrunar Agustsdottir will present "Informal Space for Intersectional Disability Feminist Activism" during the workshop: "How to be inclusive and empower survivors with different abilities and multiple needs".