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Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities

Resource Directory for Service Providers



Accessing Safety: Understanding Deaf Culture

Vera Institute of Justice
Webpage, part of Vera’s Accessing Safety Initiative, offering victim service providers a basic overview of the Deaf community and its culture. Includes statistics, information on elements of Deaf culture and implications for providers, and promising practices to meet the needs of Deaf survivors.

Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers

Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 8 pages
Pocket guide providing basic information for officers about ADA requirements for communicating effectively with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Gaining Insight, Taking Action: Basic Skills for Serving Victims

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2011), 89 pages, NCJ 232780
Discussion guide and 55-minute DVD including segments on victims who are Deaf or hard of hearing and victims with disabilities.
PDF – Discussion Guide
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – “Listen to My Story”
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – Substance Abuse”
HTML (WMV) | HTML (Quicktime) – “Underserved Victims”
Visit NCJRS for abstract or to order package.

Model Policy - Deaf and Hearing Impaired

International Association of Chiefs of Police, $9.25
Policy designed to provide guidance on effective communication during police contacts with victims, witnesses, or suspects who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment.
Visit IACP to purchase.

Model Policy for Law Enforcement on Communicating with People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 4 pages
Model policy for law enforcement agencies on effective communication with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Agencies are encouraged to download and adapt the policy to suit their needs.

People First: Communicating with and about People with Disabilities

New York State Department of Health (2009), 8 pages
Publication designed for health care providers includes basic guidance for communicating with and about those with disabilities.

Police Interactions with Deaf Persons

Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (2009), 11 pages
Article describing police obligations in communicating with Deaf suspects and crime victims. It includes summaries of court decisions and links to resources.

Providing Police Services to the Deaf

International Association of Chiefs of Police (2009)
Article, originally appearing in Police Chief magazine, describes a collaborative effort in Frederick County, Maryland, to better serve the Deaf community and improve public safety.

Removing Barriers: Tips and Strategies to Promote Accessible Communication

North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (2002), 46 pages
Quick reference guide to effectively communicate and interact with people with disabilities, including those with a disability affecting hearing. Information and tips provided can be used in the workplace and daily living.

Special Collection: Violence in the Lives of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Extensive resource collection includes:

  • a range of materials on Deaf culture, oppression, etiquette, accessibility in a victim service setting, training tools, and more;
  • an overview of best practices in using interpreters and working with Deaf victims/survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence; and
  • links to organizations serving Deaf victims/survivors.