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Working to Bridge the Gap

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, it marked a historic opportunity for many individuals with disabilities to move out of the margins and become active participants in public life.

 Twenty-two years later, the Office on Violence against Women (OVW) and our partners are reflecting on the progress that has been made to increase access to justice for victims with disabilities.

 Women with disabilities are more likely to experience more severe forms of violence, for longer periods, and by more perpetrators than women without disabilities.  OVW’s grantees have made substantial contributions to addressing the needs of victims with disabilities and Deaf victims, and we are excited by the tremendous growth in the number of organizations providing safe and accessible services. Although progress has been made, social and attitudinal barriers still exist.

To provide fully accessible victim services, independent living centers, domestic violence and sexual assault responders, and the criminal justice community must continue to collaborate with one another.  The leadership of survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors of violence is critical to building partnerships and developing accessible services for all.

 We are proud to support  the 2012 National Conference on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Against People with Disabilities.  This year’s conference will focus on promising practices for serving survivors with disabilities. Professionals from across disciplines will discuss access to critical social services, medical care, and the criminal justice system for victims with disabilities and Deaf individuals.  

 Bridging the Gap: Creating a Community of Support for Survivors with Disabilities

October 31 and November 1, 2012

Louisville, Kentucky

 Registration Closes August 31st

Find out more about the conference, including registration and invited speakers at the Accessing Safety website. We are excited about this year’s conference and look forward to your participation.

 OVW Grantees: Bridging the Gap is an OVW-approved conference. OVW grant funds can be used to support your attendance with approval from your OVW Program Specialist.

 We hope to see you there.