ListenUp project: Peer workers supporting consultations with women who have intellectual disability, resulting in a podcast that discusses disability, accessibility and violence

Miss Jane Barrett1, Ms Kaitlin Peirce1

1WWILD Sexual Violence Prevention Association Inc, Brisbane, Australia

This presentation will be co-facilitated by a peer worker, who has a lived experience of intellectual disability and a project worker. We will discuss our learnings from consultations with women who have intellectual disabilities around what makes safe, accessible services for those who have experienced violence.

Women who have an intellectual disability are overwhelmingly represented as victims of gendered violence. However, they are rarely involved in discussions around prevention of violence against women and the children, or how services/systems could better respond to their needs.

This project aims to rectify this by highlighting the expertise of women who have intellectual disability, through the creation of a podcast in which they lead discussions around disability, accessibility and violence.

We employed peer workers to assist in the development and facilitation of workshops around rights-based information for women with intellectual disabilities. During these workshops, we consulted with 32 participants about what makes accessible services for those who have experienced violence.

Based on these consultations, we created a podcast, hosted by the participants and the peer workers. The podcast has highlighted the importance of working alongside people who have intellectual disability, ensuring projects are accessible and informed by lived experience.  The learnings from these consultations have allowed for a better understanding of the needs of this group when seeking support after an experience of violence.

We hope to help to debunk stereotypes surrounding women who have intellectual disabilities, that contribute to their experiences of violence and improve responses to reports of violence.


Jane is a social worker and has worked in the disability sector for 8 years. Specialising in working with people who have an intellectual disability who have experienced sexual violence and/or domestic and family violence.