Domestic Violence & Disabilities

Barrier Free Living is an expert working with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities.

The BFL team works with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at our fully accessible Freedom House domestic violence shelter, our award winning Secret Garden domestic violence counseling program, and our latest BFL Apartments offering permanent homes with support services to survivors with disabilities and their families.

New York City based, BFL offers safe haven and services to survivors of domestic violence with disabilities locally, nationwide, as well as internationally.

“Domestic violence is the number one issue of women with disabilities”

Paul Feuerstein, President/CEO

Our Latest DV Initiatives

The BFL team shares nearly 40 years of experience, knowledge and growth in the domestic violence and disabilities field.

September Is Deaf Awareness Month 


Deaf Awareness  Month began in September 1958 as International Week of the Deaf, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf.

Barrier Free Living (BFL) has a long history of working with Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients and residents at our three domestic violence programs (Secret Garden, Freedom House, BFL Apartments).

For many years, Freedom House had hearing social workers and case managers fluent in American Sign Language working with our deaf residents. As a hearing social worker I have always believed it is important to have Deaf and hard-of-hearing team members at our programs.

After convening a focus group with current and former deaf and hard-of-hearing residents to assess their needs, Barrier Free Living applied for and received a grant to hire a Deaf social worker and case manager (read more about that initiative here).

Earlier this year, these staff members (Barrier Free Living’s Deaf Services Team)  joined our existing Deaf social worker at Secret Garden to work with Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients and residents and to conduct outreach to the hearing and Deaf communities.

Increasing the number of Deaf staff is only the beginning of Barrier Free Living’s efforts to improve its competency in working with members of the Deaf community.

Read the full article here. 

Barrier Free Living Walks In 2018 Bride’s March


Team members of Barrier Free Living will march in this year’s Eighteenth Annual Gladys Ricart & Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk / Brides’ March on September 26.

The mission: Mourning victims of domestic violence while raising awareness of the horrors of this antisocial criminal behavior!

The 2018 March will start gathering at 8AM at the Holy Rood Episcopal Church, 1715 West 179th Street, (between Fort Washington and Broadway).  The Opening Ceremony begins at 9AM.  Marching will start at 10:30 AM.  The March will travel South on Broadway, go into the Bronx, then onto Harlem, and end in East Harlem at Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center, 1680 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029 (corner of 106th Street).  For the complete Route please visit the March Route page.

For nearly 40 years, Barrier Free Living has been working with people with disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence with disabilities and their families, at our shelters and programs.

Freedom House DV Shelter Virtual Tour 

Take a virtual tour of Barrier Free Living’s Freedom House domestic violence shelter for survivors with disabilities. Get an up close and inside look at what makes our shelter absolutely unique and vital.

Link to film here .

Breaking Barriers In DV Newsletter

Each month BFL team members share their expertise and experience around our work with survivors of domestic violence with disabilities. Email us to sign up: [email protected]

Domestic Violence Resources

Search our extensive resource of information on the issues surrounding of domestic violence and disabilities.

Examples: Shelter, Children, Advocacy, Fleeing

Stories of Survival

The great benefit of our work at Barrier Free Living is the opportunity to see the results of our programs and hear the stories of inspiration, persistance and survival that our programs have helped to create.

“My family feels safe. We are learning to be strong and to love ourselves. I am so glad we are here” More about  Olga’s Journey of Hope

“I wanted to volunteer here because I wanted to be part of the great mission that Freedom House has for women and children.” More about  Bethelihem’s Journey of Hope


The BFL team shares its expertise at conferences and attends events locally and nationwide throughout the year.

September 21
Barrier Free Living team member Nicolyn Plummer presents “Understanding Domestic Violence Dynamics” at the National Action Network on September 21.  This is hosted by the House of Justice Deaf Club celebrating Deaf Awareness Month.  Nicolyn is a senior social worker and coordinator of outreach and advocacy of the Deaf Services Initiative, in conjunction with Secret Garden and Freedom House to enhance accessibility in serving Deaf victims.
September 24-26
Barrier Free Living Presents At DNCADV National Conference: Voices Rising  Providence, Rhode Island 

Barrier Free Living President CEO Paul Feuerstein and Chief Program Officer Cynthia Amodeo will present at the conference on Sept. 25.

NCADV National Conference brings together more than 600 victims, survivors, advocates and other experts in the field to share strategies to better support and assist victims and survivors and learn ways to institute the mindset of zero tolerance for domestic violence within their communities. Learn more here. 

September 26
Bride’s March New York City 2018 

Barrier Free Living will walk in the Eighteenth Annual Gladys Ricart &  Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk / Brides’ March. Mourning victims of domestic violence while raising awareness of the horrors of this antisocial criminal behavior. Learn more here.