People with disabilities experience victimization at higher rates than people without disabilities, often rely on support people and personal care services to maintain their independence and are also more likely to experience serious health consequences should they contract COVID-19. With this trifecta of challenges facing the disability community, it is critical that service providers come together to identify strategies for continuing to serve survivors with disabilities amid the call for social distancing. As we rapidly adjust our service models to slow the spread of the virus, we must ensure that our services remain inclusive and accessible to survivors with disabilities. Indeed, we may discover that the changes we make now could result in more access survivors with disabilities.
The Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of justice is hosting a series of strategy and listening sessions to leverage the collective wisdom of the advocates within victim services and the disability fields. These engagements will provide opportunities to surface the challenges facing survivors with disabilities and identify solutions. We believe that the collective wisdom and creative-problem solving within our fields is needed now more than ever.