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Promising Practices in Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities Printer-Friendly Option Promising Practices in Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities Image of a woman in a wheelchair working at a computer. Image of a woman walking alongside a man on a motorized scooter.
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Planning and Implementation
Planning and Implementation

Planning for Sustainability

At the end of the 3-year grant period, each of the subgrantees developed a plan for sustaining support services for crime victims with disabilities long after completing the project. The subgrantees designed their strategies for sustaining the project after OVC’s funding ended following the best practices they developed during the grant period:

  • Institutionalize changes to keep accessibility at the forefront. Subgrantees’ plans for sustainability included commitments to continue in-house training programs, adjust policy as needed, improve the physical accessibility of their facilities, and find ways to make the process for applying for and receiving services more accessible.

  • Maintain and develop ongoing relationships with people with disabilities, community groups, and organizations that provide services to crime victims and/or people with disabilities. Projects focused on continuing coalition work, advisory groups, and other interagency partnerships; furthering the dialog started with law enforcement, victim service providers, and the local disability community; establishing new avenues for outreach to and feedback from people with disabilities; and investing in resources and technology to keep people connected to the project.

  • Continue to measure changes, successes, and barriers in accessibility to victim services and the criminal justice system. Subgrantee plans in this area varied according to the nature of their projects. Some planned to continue annual consumer satisfaction surveys; others planned to establish new systems to monitor program accessibility and client safety; and most expected their programming and protocols to continue to evolve.

Strategies advanced by project leaders and their partners to support sustainability plans included the following:

  • Keep partners engaged and excited about the work.

  • Maintain funding for advocacy positions.

  • Continue to foster new relationships.

  • Reach out to underserved populations that could not be reached in the first 3 years.

  • Use new partners to spread the message through train-the-trainer initiatives.

  • Continue to disseminate training videos and materials.

  • Seek new funding to expand work initiated during the project.

  • Pursue certification to provide continuing education for law enforcement.
As the subgrantees noted, funding can be critical to maintaining services. However, sustainability planning in this instance was not so much about financial planning but rather to ensure that the work accomplished would have lasting impact and forward momentum, with or without continued funding.