Current Work

Ten Regional Centers

Plans are in motion to build 10 specially designed regional centers throughout Ohio. These centers will bring together highly trained teams of professionals to perform forensic interviews and collect evidence in crimes against adults with disabilities, including cases of assault, sexual violence, domestic violence and human trafficking.

The Adult Advocacy Centers will break new ground by incorporating both universal and multi-sensory design into each location, allowing us to serve each client safely and purposefully, according to their individual needs. These centers will allow all adults with disabilities to access victim services in an equal, inclusive and accessible way, no matter where they live in the state. The AACs model is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

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RV Mobile Unit

Cover of Funding a Mobile RV Unit brochure

The Adult Advocacy Centers are seeking funding for a fully accessible and mobile RV unit.

A mobile RV unit will allow the AACs to take our groundbreaking services to adult crime victims with disabilities anywhere they need us in the state of Ohio.

The RV has always been a planned component of the AACs’ model to support crime victims with disabilities. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that mobile victim services, particularly for crime victims with disabilities, is a critical need. We are raising funds for one RV initially, but we hope to ultimately have several on the road.

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Needs Assessment

Cover of report called Needs Assessment - Fall 2019 with a photo of an older Black woman sitting in a wheelchair looking concerned and the Adult Advocacy Centers seasonal tree logoNational statistics show that individuals with disabilities are more likely to experience abuse than people without disabilities (Harrell, 2017). The Disability and Abuse Project (2013) reported that more than 70% of people with disabilities who were surveyed reported that they had been victims of abuse. More than 63% of family members said their loved one with a disability had been a victim of abuse. In spite of the high rates of abuse and trauma faced by individuals with disabilities, there is still a shortage of research and training regarding how to provide support for crime victims with disabilities (McGilvery, 2018). These statistics demonstrate a significant prevalence of abuse against people with disabilities and the clear need for a unique response. We believe the AAC model is that response. However, we wanted to hear directly from the agencies that work most directly with people with disabilities to better understand what services are currently available.

Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities (county boards) will be indispensable partners when creating and implementing the AAC model. County boards have an established infra­structure for investigating allegations of abuse, certified Investigative Agents (IAs) in all counties and a state-of-the-art computerized database for reporting incidents of abuse. As the AAC mod­el develops, county boards will be key in ensuring the success of this new service in Ohio.

To demonstrate the need for the establishment of AACs, we mailed assessments to all coun­ty boards in Ohio. Ultimately, we received responses from more than 35 county boards. The collected data has been compiled in a new report, which demonstrates an overwhelming need for the kind of training, collaboration and cooperation the AACs hope to provide.

Needs Assessment 2019 [PDF]

Upcoming Conferences

The Adult Advocacy Centers continue to be invited to present about the AAC Model at local, national and international conferences. Representatives from the AACs will be at the following upcoming conferences:

Check back as this list is updated. To invite the AACs to your conference, email