Put the Focus on Victims
Understand Victims . Help Victims Heal . Consider Culture and Diversity . Resources
skip navigation 

Serving Victims With Disabilities


Documents and Materials

Abuse and Women with Disabilities
Highlights the prevalence of violence against women with disabilities, examines abuse interventions, offers a critique of studies, and includes recommendations for research and practice.

Access for All: A Resource Manual for Meeting the Needs of One-Stop Customers with Disabilities
Includes accessibility checklists and ideas, transportation options for individuals with disabilities, fact sheets on a range of disabilities, screening tools, and a resource directory.

Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Victims: Guidelines for Shelters, Other Service Agencies
Provides guidelines and resources for communicating with deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.

Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers
Provides basic information for law enforcement officers about ADA requirements for communicating with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Confronting the Sexual Abuse of Women with Disabilities
Covers the origins of our knowledge concerning the sexual abuse of women with disabilities, discusses data on women with disabilities and the men who abuse them, and explores the advocacy efforts of women with disabilities and their allies.

Defining Programmatic Access to Healthcare for People with Disabilities
Describes methods of incorporating accessible services into health care delivery.

Equal Access: Universal Design of Your Project
Provides a checklist for making projects welcoming, accessible, and usable.

First Response to Victims of Crime
Offers guidance to police officers on how to approach and interact with victims, including those who have Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, or intellectual disabilities or who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard-of-hearing.

Impact: Feature Issue on Violence Against Women with Developmental or Other Disabilities
Offers strategies and ideas for bringing together disability service providers, victim service providers, law enforcement officers, criminal justice system professionals, policymakers, researchers, and women with disabilities.

Making Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services Accessible
Outlines considerations in operating victim service programs that are accessible to and appropriately serve women with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities.

Model Policy for Law Enforcement on Communicating With People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Serves as a model for law enforcement agencies that need to adopt a policy on effective communication with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations
Includes recommendations on how health care providers, law enforcement officers, advocates, and others can enhance their responses to sexual assault victims with disabilities.

People with Mental Retardation & Sexual Abuse
Provides an overview of the extent of sexual abuse among people with intellectual disabilities and includes information about the physical, behavioral, and circumstantial signs that point to abuse.

Safety Planning: A Guide for Individuals With Physical Disabilities
Helps adults with physical disabilities who have been or may be abused by an intimate partner, spouse, adult child or other family member, personal assistant, or caregiver.

Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities (DVD)
Provides contact information for select national disability service and advocacy organizations, many of which have local chapters or affiliates.

Serving Women with Developmental Disabilities: Strategies for the Justice System
Explores issues facing police, prosecutors, judges, advocates, and other members of the criminal justice system and provides suggestions for how they can better serve women with developmental disabilities.

Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities
Includes tips on how to communicate with people with disabilities.

Tips for First Responders (2d Edition)
Offers tips on how to assist older individuals and people with disabilities, including those who use service animals or who have mobility impairments, autism, cognitive disabilities, sensory disabilities, chemical sensitivities, or mental illness. Although the tips are designed for a range of emergencies, they can be adapted for sexual assault-specific services.

Understanding Disabilities in American Indian & Alaska Native Communities
Provides information about disabilities, Indian tribes, and resources; suggestions for improving services, providing protections, and tapping resources in local tribal communities; and contact information for organizations that could become SART allies.

Understanding the Needs of the Victims of Sexual Assault in the Deaf Community
Examines the perceptions of deaf and hearing service providers who assist deaf victims of sexual assault; help-seeking patterns in the deaf community; the needs of deaf individuals who have been sexually assaulted; and service gaps affecting sexual assault victims who are deaf.

Victims with Disabilities: The Forensic Interview—Techniques for Interviewing Victims with Communication and/or Cognitive Disabilities (DVD, Discussion Guide)
Provides guidelines for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocates, forensic interviewers, and others for interviewing adults and children with communication and/or cognitive disabilities.

Violence and People with Disabilities—A Review of the Literature
Reviews the literature pertaining to people with disabilities and violence and analyzes how violence against people with disabilities is defined, the incidence of violence, issues relating to disclosure, and responses to violence and prevention issues.

Working with Victims of Crime with Disabilities
Identifies the distinctive needs of crime victims with disabilities and offers recommendations for how to serve such victims; identifies issues, service gaps, and barriers to access; recommends needed changes; and spotlights successful programs and promising practices that reach and serve crime victims with disabling conditions.


Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services
Assists deaf and deaf-blind victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Its services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, educational programs, and advocacy for deaf and deaf-blind victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.

The Arc
Advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its members and affiliated chapters improve systems, inspire communities, and influence public policy.

Brain Injury Association of America
Serves individuals, families, and professionals who are touched by traumatic brain injury. The association's Web site has extensive resource listings, information, and referral services and links to state office affiliates.

Disability, Abuse & Personal Rights Project
Offers online training, education, and resources.

Disability Rights International
Documents conditions, publishes reports on human rights enforcement, and promotes international oversight of the rights of people with mental disabilities.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
Improves the lives of people living with serious mental illness and their families. Alliance chapters in every state are devoted to advocacy, research, support, and education.

National Association of the Deaf
Promotes, protects, and preserves the rights and quality of life of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

National Braille Press
Offers Braille books, magazines, and customized embossing services.

Safe Place—Disability Services ASAP
Offers training and education to help increase awareness about and prevent sexual and domestic violence and abuse of individuals with disabilities.

Web Sites

Accessing Safety Glossary
Describes commonly used disability and victimization terms.

Accessing Safety Initiative
Provides information on understanding disability, understanding the Deaf culture, addressing accessibility, and creating environments, policies, and practices that better serve and welcome women with disabilities and deaf women.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Offers information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

CANdo—The Abuse and Disability Outreach Forum
Unites service professionals who are concerned about the abuse of children and adults with disabilities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Index
Provides a comprehensive index for information on various health issues, including autism, cerebral palsy, deafness, Down's syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and traumatic brain injury.

Directory of Crime Victim Services
Helps service providers and individuals locate nonemergency crime victim service agencies in the United States and abroad.

International Coalition on Abuse and Disability (Listserv)
Includes researchers, clinicians, people with disabilities, parents, and others interested in abuse and disability issues.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (Special Populations: Disabled)
Includes a question-and-answer section on crime victims with disabilities and lists useful publications.


ADA Technical Assistance Program
Develops and disseminates publications, provides training at meetings nationwide, and conducts outreach to broad and targeted audiences about the Americans with Disability Act.