Topics: Disability

Making PREA and Victim Services Accessible for Incarcerated People with Disabilities: An Implementation Guide for Practitioners on the Adult and Juvenile Standards
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) established a federal commission to draft national standards that address sexual abuse in confinement settings. PREA also required the U.S. Attorney General to promulgate regulations based on the standards that apply to all federal, state, and local...
Cultivating Evaluation Capacity: A Guide for Programs Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence
To ensure that they deliver what they promise—and do so cost-effectively—social service providers that serve victims of sexual and domestic violence are beginning to recognize the benefits of evaluating their programs. Many service providers, however, embark on self-evaluations without the...
Designing Accessible Events for People with Disabilities and Deaf Individuals
Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety developed these tip sheets to assist leaders in planning and implementing accessible meetings that address the needs of all people, including people with disabilities and Deaf people. They focus on how to select accessible venues, ensure successful meeting...
The Guardian Reporter, June 2014
In this issue of The Guardian Reporter, the newsletter of Vera's Guardianship Project: Hear from our former project director Laura Negrón as she reflects on her tenure at the project, and from our interim director Olga Perez discussing what lies ahead. Find out how the project's unique,...
Nicholas Turner Testimony on Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety, to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Written testimony of Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice, on law enforcement responses to individuals with disabilities and the potential for new approaches, submitted on April 29, 2014 to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the...


Accessing Safety Initiative

Vera’s Accessing Safety Initiative (ASI) helps its partner jurisdictions—states and cities—enhance the capacity of their social services and criminal justice systems to assist women with disabilities & Deaf women who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Evaluating Organizational Capacity to Serve Survivors with Disabilities: Moving Toward Accessible and Responsive Services

Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety is developing performance indicators for disability and domestic violence organizations, as well as rape crisis centers, to measure progress towards improving services for people with disabilities and Deaf individuals who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

Examining Criminal Justice Responses to and Help-Seeking Patterns of Sexual Violence Survivors with Disabilities

Sexual assault against people with disabilities is a critical and neglected issue. Although empirical evidence is extremely limited, several studies based on population or convenience samples of sexual assault among people with disabilities report lifetime rates as high as 53 percent. However, few studies have examined criminal justice responses to and help-seeking patterns of diverse sexual assault survivors with disabilities (for example, gender, age, race and ethnicity, and disability type) using rigorous research methods and methods designed for this population. To address this gap, Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety will conduct a National Institute of Justice-funded study in partnership with a large district attorney’s office and a community-based, non-residential program providing services to people with disabilities, with support from a local rape crisis center.

The Guardianship Project

The Guardianship Project provides guardianship services for older adults and people with disabilities in New York City who have been determined by a judge to be unable to care for themselves. Project staff include lawyers, social workers, and bookkeepers, who oversee an array of services—including health care, home care, and money management—and help clients to remain independent and engaged in their communities. Our services currently save the state more than $2.5 million annually in Medicaid costs, and as it grows those savings will increase significantly.

Understanding and Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities

In March of 2012, Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety partnered with the Ms. Foundation for Women to ensure that existing efforts to address sexual abuse of children are inclusive of children with disabilities. They also sought to increase the number and breadth of efforts that are specifically addressing sexual abuse of children with disabilities.

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A new study—co-authored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control—confirms what past research and anecdotal evidence in the field of abuse of people with...
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Too often, educating incarcerated people with disabilities about their rights, access to services, and agency policies is limited to reading aloud to people who are blind or low-vision and giving print materials to Deaf people. These makeshift...
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Crime victims with disabilities—who routinely face significant access-related barriers to justice—experience additional and unique obstacles when an unrealistic standard of “innocent victimhood” is applied. The myth that there are expectations of...
Sandra Harrell
Project Director, Accessing Safety Initiative, Center on Victimization and Safety
Nancy Smith
Director, Center on Victimization and Safety

About this Topic

Vera works with staff from justice systems and government agencies to help them deliver their services to people with disabilities in appropriate, accessible ways.