Sex and Labor Trafficking of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) Population

September 25 | 1:30 PM EDT– 2:30 PM EDT
Topic: Direct Service | Knowledge Level: Intermediate

Pat Stephens, MEd and Steve Mentrek, MA

This presentation will be on sex and labor trafficking of individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and their vulnerability to traffickers. Risk factors, signs of victimization, trauma, and prevention will be discussed. Attendees will learn how human trafficking affects individuals with IDD physically and behaviorally. Presenters will assist attendees in how to develop and establish protocols and supports within the DD system. They will also discuss how to implement community integration in a safe and playful manner to protect our individuals from labor trafficking. The session will also cover some labor trafficking stories in order to protect the DD population from employers who have immoral practices. Cases will be discussed based on real life experiences and factual data gathered from Disability Right Ohio research. Presenters will also utilize a Disability Fact Sheets and a powerful video called “The Boys of Atalissa”. Attendees will take away how their individual vulnerabilities have made them targets in the United States as well as overseas.


Presentation Objectives
  • Inform the community that IDD individuals are being targeted for human trafficking
  • Describe risk factors of human trafficking within the IDD population
  • Assist with how to develop and establish protocols and supports in the DD system
  • Discuss how integration in the community can be a risk for IDD individuals to be labor trafficked
  • Describe how our own systems can cause barriers and limitations in this area
About the Presenters
Pat Stephens, MEd

Pat Stephens is the Director for the Lucas County Board of DD. She completed her BA at Slippery Rock University and her MEd at Spring Arbor College. Pat has experience in the mental health field and 24 years with the County Board. She is a member of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition and a part of the Partners Against the Trafficking of Humans program.


Steve Mentrek, MA

Steve Mentrek is a Program Director at Bittersweet Farms. He completed his studies at Slippery Rock University and received his MA in Recreation Therapy and Leisure Administration from the University of Toledo. Steve has over 15 years of experience assisting individuals with DD.