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Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities

Resource Directory for Service Providers


(See also State and Local Government)


ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual Covering State and Local Government Programs and Services

U.S. Department of Justice (1993), 56 pages
Manual on ADA requirements explaining in lay terms what state and local governments must do to ensure that their services, programs, and activities are provided to the public in a nondiscriminatory manner. It provides numerous practical examples.
HTML – Supplement (1994)
HTML – Spanish print edition available from the ADA Information Line.

Assisting Victims and Witnesses with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System: A Curriculum for Law Enforcement Officers (with Trainer’s Guide)

Institute on Disabilities, Temple University (2002), 98 pages, $15
Training module providing law enforcement officers a basic understanding of mental retardation and the impact it has on an individual’s ability to interact with criminal justice personnel. It is designed to enhance an officer’s ability to respond more effectively to victims of crime, as well as witnesses and suspects, who have mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. It includes both knowledge and skill components.
Visit the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University for more information or to order.

Child Abuse Victims with Disabilities: A Curriculum for Law Enforcement First Responders and Child Protective Services Frontline Workers

Disability & Abuse Project, Instructor manual 181 pages, participant manual 190 pages, PowerPoint presentation 150 slides
Training for child abuse first responders addresses the most important aspects of response when the child has a cognitive and communication disability. This Curriculum, developed under a Children's Justice Act Grant in California, is designed to be taught by a Multi-Disciplinary Team. While written for Californian first responders, the materials can easily be adapted to any state or territory. Includes instructor manual, participant manual, and PowerPoint presentation.
PDF – Instructor Manual
PDF – Participant Manual
PPT – PowerPoint Presentation

Commonly Asked Questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act and Law Enforcement

U.S. Department of Justice (2006), 12 pages
Fact sheet answering frequent questions about the ADA and its effect on law enforcement services involving people with disabilities.

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
8-panel pocket guide providing basic information for officers about communicating effectively with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

First Response to Victims of Crime: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2010), 98 pages, NCJ 231171
Educational package, produced by the National Sheriffs' Association, examining the impact of crime on victims and describing steps that law enforcement can take, as first responders, to meet victims' needs. Among the topics included are the special needs of victims with disabilities.
for abstract or to order.

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.


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; includes summaries of court decisions and links to resources.

Police Response to People with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Justice
Video series designed for use in roll-call training, addressing law enforcement situations involving people who have mobility disabilities, mental illnesses, mental retardation, epilepsy or seizure disorders, speech disabilities, deafness or hard of hearing , and blindness or low vision. The eight segments range from 5 ½ to 10 ½ minutes in length.
HTML – DSL or cable
HTML – Dial-up

Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities Bulletin and Toolkit

Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice (2008), bulletin 15 pages, NCJ 223965; toolkit 7 pages, NCJ 223966
Bulletin and toolkit providing a snapshot of the scope and dynamics of an OVC-funded demonstration project. With technical assistance and monitoring from SafePlace, 10 agencies throughout the U.S. worked to improve the local response of criminal justice personnel and victim services providers to people with disabilities. Sections address collaborating, conducting a needs assessment, making a plan, implementing the plan, continued listening to the community, and sustainability.
HTML – Bulletin
HTML – Toolkit

Questions and Answers: The ADA and Hiring Police Officers

U.S. Department of Justice (1997), 5 pages
Brief publication providing information on ADA requirements for interviewing and hiring police officers.