Prioritizing the Voices of Victims

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice is a national organization that urgently builds and improves justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.

In early 2020, Vera was compiling a toolkit designed to train professionals to work with crime victims with disabilities. Alongside reading materials, interactive quizzes and example scenarios, a huge part of the toolkit were 20 educational videos.

These videos were intended to not only contain interviews from professionals who worked with the victims, but also from the crime victims themselves: people with disabilities who were victims of financial and sexual abuse.

COVID-19 presented big barriers to this plan. So, Block by Block helped Vera to reimagine the video series using Zoom interviews and animations, creative solutions that kept us socially distanced while still accomplishing our goals.

Creating a safe space for the victims to speak about their trauma was also very important to us. Our expertise through years of working and collaborating with the disability community (such as the Explains and Vote for Access series) helped us ask in-depth questions in a respectful way.

The stories our subjects told held valuable lessons for the training of caregivers, police officers, and others who need to understand the experiences of disabled people.

One of the best ways to achieve this impact is for professionals to be able to hear the stories directly from the victims.

Prioritizing the voices of underrepresented communities is part of Block by Block's mission, and we continue to do that through the challenges of the pandemic.

The next time you need an in-depth educational piece that centers the voices of your base, join us for a free brainstorm.