We're breaking new ground for disabled abuse victims.
The Adult Advocacy Centers exist to teach the world how to hear what people with disabilities have to say — particularly when they are victims of crime.
Plans are in motion to develop 10 regionally located permanent centers and one fully outfitted RV mobile unit, each providing space for a multi-disciplinary team. These teams will include law enforcement, prosecutors, medical staff, victim advocates, mental health specialists, forensic interviewers and representatives from each of Ohio’s disability-specific agencies. This model is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Center staff and partner agencies will be expertly trained to meet the needs of every individual. Part of that expert training is the Advanced Forensic Interviewing for Individuals with Disabilities certificate Project FIND, which was funded through a Victims of Crime Act grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
The training teaches forensic interviewing best practices and makes considerations and adaptations to account for each individual’s disability, mental health disorder, assistive technology, language capacity and cultural background. The curriculum is designed to help forensic interviewers gather information from alleged victims in the most reliable and legally defensible manner. Participants learn through readings, didactic instruction, video examples, case scenarios and by participating in activities throughout the training.
Our vision is to serve adults with disabilities who are alleged victims or witnesses of abuse, maltreatment or neglect. Our staff and partner agencies are expertly trained to meet the needs of every individual in a holistic manner, ensuring they are the center of the investigation and treatment plan.