Language Access Planning for Deaf People: A Toolkit

Research on victimization within the Deaf community suggests that Deaf individuals living in the United States have higher rates of domestic and sexual victimization than their hearing counterparts. Despite these higher rates of domestic and sexual violence, Deaf survivors face barriers that prevent them from getting help. When Deaf survivors reach out for services and support and their needs are not met, their experience of trauma is compounded by the very systems and services that are intended to help. Communication and cultural barriers are built into these systems because they were not designed specifically to meet the needs of Deaf victims and survivors.

This site contains links to various resources that have been developed to provide victim service providers and allied professionals with a process and practical strategies to remove barriers that prevent Deaf victims and survivors from accessing services and create more accessible and culturally responsive services. These resources will aid organizations in their planning for language access for Deaf people. Integrating language access throughout all aspects of your organization is essential for ensuring your organization can effectively serve Deaf survivors, victims, family members, and other people impacted by violence.


The Fundamentals of Language Access Webinar

The Fundamentals of Language Access Webinar Slideshow


Video Resources

Working with Sign Language Interpreters Webinar

Watch our webinar hosted by Activating Change’s Program Director of the National Sign Language Interpreting Project Esther Fass. This video provides an overview of best practices on how to effectively work with interpreters to support Deaf survivors.

PDF Resources

Online Resource

  • Interpreter Screening Guide created by HEAL of Tri-County

    To learn more about culturally responsive and trauma-informed interpreters, please review the Interpreter Screening Guide created by our partners at HEAL of Tri-County. HEAL of Tri-County has developed an Interpreter Screening Guide to aid victim service agencies in assessing the capabilities of interpreters they use for d/Deaf survivor services.

Published on:
June 10, 2024
Resource Type:
Communities of Focus:
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Intended Audience:
Victim Services Provider