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Promising Practices for Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities Toolkit
Publication Date: October 2008

Needs Assessments: Listening to the Community


Surveys are the workhorse of the needs assessment toolbox because they can be used to gather information in writing, by phone, or online, depending on the format selected for reaching the target community. Here’s how the subgrantees used surveys in conducting their needs assessments:

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and other victim service organizations completed self-assessments to gauge their knowledge, attitudes, and comfort levels regarding working with crime victims with disabilities.

Police and law enforcement officers were asked about their experience investigating crimes that involve persons with disabilities, and their attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.

Project steering committee and coalition members provided case studies and anecdotal information about the experiences of crime victims with disabilities, whether due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or other types of abuse.

People with disabilities talked about their firsthand experiences in seeking support from community responders, particularly with victim service organizations and the criminal justice system.

Health care providers, prosecutors, disability service providers, and others shared their experiences with and attitudes about persons with disabilities.

NOVA’s key informant survey and law enforcement questionnaire, and the Partnership Against Domestic Violence’s (PADV) program survey, are good examples of ways in which data collection instruments were used during the project. SACASA’s protocols for consumer surveys and internal agency surveys also offer sample guidelines for structuring and conducting this kind of assessment activity.

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