Protecting Children with Disabilities from Abuse: Strategies for Grades K-7


10/9/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

10/9/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In collaboration with the Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness (DCDD)

Thursday, Oct. 9
4-5 p.m. ET

Children with disabilities experience abuse at rates three to four times higher than their nondisabled peers. As children age, their risk for abuse changes as they interact with more people in increasingly diverse contexts. Given the significant, lifelong, negative impact of abuse on children’s learning potential, social behaviors, and academic success, it is critical that special educators learn how to prevent the abuse of children with disabilities. This webinar provides knowledge, resources, and specific strategies to help you understand, prevent, recognize and report the abuse of children with disabilities (grades K-7), working within the day-to-day instructional framework of professionals and students’ IFSP/IEP/504 documents.

Learner Outcomes:

After completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe the incidence, indicators and impact of abuse as experienced by children with disabilities
  • Discuss the risk factors that cause children with disabilities to experience significantly higher rates of abuse than their nondisabled peers
  • Describe how day-to-day curricular materials and instructional strategies can be used to change risk factors into prevention strategies across grades K-7
  • Identify when and how to report a suspicion of abuse, and prepare for likely responses to the report
  • Access and use critical resources to prevent, recognize, and report the abuse of children with disabilities.


Harold JohnsonHarold Johnson, professor of special education at Michigan State University (retired), has worked as a teacher, school administrator and university professor in deaf education since 1971. His work has focused on reducing isolation, recognizing excellence and facilitating collaboration among parents and professionals who work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. One product of this work is the Deaf Education Web site ( Since 2006, Dr. Johnson, in collaboration with colleagues at Hands & Voices ( and the Association of College Educators—Deaf & Hard of Hearing ( has worked to understand and prevent abuse of children with disabilities via the O.U.R. Children project ( ).

Irene van der ZandeIrene van der Zande is the founder and executive director of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International (, a global nonprofit leader in providing child protection education and personal safety skills to people of all ages and abilities. Since 1989, Kidpower has protected more than two million children, teens and adults, including those with special needs, from bullying, violence, and abuse, through its in-person workshops and extensive educational resources. Ms. van der Zande has authored numerous books and articles on child development, education, child protection, and violence and abuse prevention and intervention, including 1.2.3…The Toddler Years: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, which is used as an early childhood education textbook by many colleges, and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence and Advocacy for Young People.