A Message from Nancy Thaler

Dear ISAC members,

 Thank you to everyone who participated in the ISAC meeting last Wednesday.   It was a difficult but necessary conversation for us to  have,  and I so appreciate all of your active engagement as we work to address what seems to be an overwhelming challenge. 

 Our task is not only to prevent sexual abuse, but also to assure that everyone enjoys their right to have a healthy, consensual sexual life.

 We have to make sure that….

  • Children and adults develop  a sense of mastery over their bodies, know where boundaries are and feel empowered to set limits,
  • Families have information, training and support
  • Adults have access to appropriate education, information, and resources that address sexual health, personal relationships, and sexuality needs.
  • Direct Support Staff have resources and training on understanding, supporting, and responding to sexual health, personal relationships, and sexual issues
  • Everyone knows how to report suspected abuse
  • Criminal justice professionals understand the issues and are equipped to move forward with investigations and prosecutions
  • Trauma is recognized and people are supported to recover

The only way we can make progress is to get specific. Each organization on the ISAC touches constituencies – self-advocates, families, providers, county staff, support coordinators, advocates, etc.  

We need to build an action plan for Pennsylvania that engages everyone and reaches everyone. 

Our Homework:
Our meeting ended with a commitment from each organization to work on this issue during the next two months. Each organization will explore what it can do with its own members to educate, support, to engrain within organizations’ practices that will not only prevent sexual abuse, but also assure that everyone enjoys their right to have a healthy, consensual sexual life.

Creating an action plan that integrates all of our efforts will have a greater impact than anything we can do alone.

Please come to the JUNE 14th ISAC meeting with a document and presentation that describes your organization’s efforts to reach people within the scope of your organization.
We’ll pull it all together into a Pennsylvania plan to be published and to hold ourselves accountable.

Thank you,



ODP 00-18-01 Sexual Health Personal Relationships and Sexuality Attachment 1

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