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Dr. Nora J. Baladerian

2008 National Crime Victim Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Dr. Nora J. Baladerian | National Crime Victim Service Award
Los Angeles, California

Since 1971, Dr. Nora Baladerian has made the problem of abuse of people with disabilities her life's work. In the early 1970s when she began working on this topic, virtually no information or funding was available to help ameliorate the problem. Today, however, the abuse of people with disabilities is a nationally recognized issue with millions of federal and state dollars allocated to address it—largely because of Dr. Baladerian's passion and dedication. 

She has authored several internationally distributed guidebooks for individuals with disabilities, their parents, and the professionals who work with them, and written more than 50 articles related to the abuse and neglect of children and adults with disabilities. She also has convened 10 national conferences and an online conference on the topic. In her work as a psychologist, Dr. Baladerian has become an expert in conducting evaluations of suspected sexual abuse of people with disabilities and conducting assessments with children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as providing clinical intervention. 

Most recently, her video Victims with Disabilities: The Forensic Interview has helped debunk the myth that crime victims with developmental disabilities cannot be good witnesses. Dr. Baladerian's work has affected policies and practices in many arenas, including the policies of school campuses, mandatory reporting, minimum standards for responding to child abuse calls, and protocols and practices for investigators, prosecutors, protective services caseworkers, and victim advocates. 

Victim services in California and throughout the Nation provide more consistent services to crime victims with disabilities, and to crime victims who acquire a disability due to an act of violence, because of Dr. Baladerian's lifetime of advocacy. 

Nora Baladerian, Ph.D., was nominated by James N. Stream, Executive Director, Arc Riverside.