The Ability:IMPACT Self-Defense curriculum (formerly known as IMPACT:Ability) teaches people with disabilities to recognize unsafe situations and respond with effective self-protective behaviors. Students learn skills that are relevant to sexual violence, attempted abduction, bullying, and harassment as well as how to assert and advocate for themselves in everyday situations.

Students learn:

  • Refusing unwanted help or attention while commuting on public transportation
  • Deflecting and escaping a bullying situation
  • Assertive communication and self-advocacy
  • Resisting inappropriate sexual touch from a caregiver or adult, including workplace sexual harassment
  • Resisting attempted sexual assault by a dating partner or peer
  • Effective communication and conflict resolution in the workplace
  • Adaptive physical self-protection skills

Ability:IMPACT is evidence-based. An independent evaluation conducted by the Institute for Community Health found that the program increased Boston Public Schools students’ knowledge, self-confidence and self-protective behaviors. One-year follow-up evaluation found that many of these gains were maintained.

For more information on all our programs for people with disabilities, go to the Ability:IMPACT tab under “People with Disabilities” or email Jeanine Woods at jwoods@impactboston.org