People of all ages with disabilities or other special needs are especially vulnerable to facing bullying, abuse, or assault. We’ve been successful in teaching self-protection and personal safety skills to tens of thousands of children, teens, and adults with difficult life challenges such as: developmental delays; difficulty with vision, hearing, or mobility; or personal struggles with domestic violence, homelessness, substance abuse, or being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
- What skills do we teach for people with disabilities?
- What do professionals say about Kidpower for people with disabilities?
- What about services for people facing other life challenges?
- What educational resources are available?
“I have been blind since birth and have severe Cerebral Palsy. Most people assume that someone like me would be helpless. The Kidpower training that I took over ten years ago as a child and teenager has shown me and others that this assumption is completely false…
— Andrea Goddard
Skills for People with Disabilities
Our workshops are tailored to work with the strengths of every single student. We make adaptations for how different people’s bodies and minds work, focusing on what they can do, rather than what they cannot not. We teach the full spectrum of People Safety skills including:
- Being and acting aware
- Setting boundaries
- Staying safe from bullying or verbal attack
- Getting help
- Staying safe while riding public transit;
- Making safe choices with support tools such as canes, service dogs, and wheelchairs
- Learning effective physical self-defense skills without being able to see the target or while seated in a wheelchair.
Kidpower Teaching Method: How do we teach these skills?
We work with participants and their supporters to identify their strengths and then to work with those strengths to stay safe. Thousands of students of all cognitive and physical abilities have found our services to be relevant, interesting, and well-suited for their own ways of moving, thinking, perceiving, and communicating.
Our workshops offer a safe and secure environment for “learning by doing” through role-play and positive examples. We focus on what people have the power to do, not on what they can’t do, and we have fun while developing powerful and practical skills. We work with partner organizations and schools to find funding so that their students and participants can have the opportunity to learn these skills, and we provide Training of Professionals so that educators, social workers, and other staff can integrate our program into their curriculum and activities
What about services for people facing other life challenges?
For each of us, our belief in our right to be safe and in our ability to protect ourselves is the biggest self-protection tool we have. Belief in one’s power to take charge of one’s safety can be seriously damaged for individuals who are survivors of assault, child abuse, domestic violence or a hate crime or who are struggling with personal issues such as homelessness, poverty, or substance abuse.
Our workshops help people to develop a strong set of safety skills within the context of the effect of past experiences on how to weigh options and make safe choices.
Our goal is to provide our participants with tools to make choices and take action that will help them stay physically and emotionally safe while acknowledging and respecting the hard issues they face.
Our workshops for the general public are appropriate for most students who have difficult life challenges. We also provide Teenpower and Fullpower workshops for participants and Training of Professionals for staff of homeless shelters, domestic violence prevention programs, organizations helping people who are targets of prejudice, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and organizations supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse
What educational resources are available?
Our RelationsSafe Books are inclusive of young people of all abilities and contain inspiring stories, clear examples, and step-by-step directions in how to use Kidpower’s advocacy, intervention, and personal safety strategies and skills for both the general public and professionals:
- The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults, the most comprehensive guide available about personal safety self-protection, confidence, and advocacy for young people
- How to Teach Self-Protection and Confidence Skills to Young People: Kidpower Introductory Guide for Parents and Teachers – in English and in Spanish
- Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
- Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe
- Relationship Safety Skills Handbook to teach teens and adults how to be safe from interpersonal, dating, and domestic violence
- Kidpower Child Protection Advocates Training Workbook
Our cartoon-illustrated books make it easy and entertaining to discuss and practice these essential skills with children and youth and are extremely popular both with individuals with special needs and typically developing youth:
- Safety Comics series for younger, older, and teen/young adult students – in English, Spanish, and Bi-lingual editions
- Curriculum Teaching Books provide step-by-step lessons that students of all ages and abilities have found to be important, respectful, and relevant.
- 15 People Safety Group Lessons: Teaching Children and Youth Ages 5-14 How to Be Safe With People
- 10 People Safety Assignments – includes permission to make copies for individual classrooms, youth groups, and families – English and Bi-Lingual English-Spanish editions available
In addition, we have an extensive free online Library with articles, audio, and videos. Here are some of the most popular for families with members with special needs, for educators, and other professionals (many of the following resources are open to the public and we also have a free resource library membership available):
- Unlimited Adaptability: Teaching “People Safety Skills” to Individuals With Different Abilities
- Safety Signals for Literal People and Those With Limited Speech
- Self-Protection for People With Disabilities
- Personal Safety to Help Stop Domestic Violence
- Substance Abuse Prevention
- Kidpower Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers
- Creating Positive Social Climates to Stop Bullying; Kidpower Tools for Adult Leaders
- Kidpower Child Protection Promise
- Kidpower Put Safety First Commitment
- CollegePower for Parents: Supporting Your New College Student’s Independence, Personal Safety, and Wisdom
- 7 Kidpower Strategies for Keeping Your Child Safe – Video Series
- One Million Safer Kids video – See Kidpower In Action including with children with special needs
- PuppetPower Videos – for Young Children with their Adults
- Protecting Youth Athletes from Abuse Videos – for Parents, Coaches, and Youth Sports Leaders
- Walk In Another’s Shoes video – Teens Speak Out About Bullying
Please consider joining us in celebrating International Child Protection Month to honor, inspire,and support adult leadership in keeping kids of all abilities safe from harm and empowering them with skills for take charge of their well being. We provide important free online resources you can use and share during September and throughout the year.
Many professionals and parents supporting young people with disabilities participate in our three-day Kidpower Skills for Child Protection Advocates Institute.
If you don’t have a Kidpower center close to your community, consider setting up a new one and training as an instructor. We also train teachers and other professionals to include People Safety Skills in their programs and schools so that people everywhere can learn how to protect their emotional and physical safety.