Deaf Unity offers a wide variety of services that often meet the needs of Deaf survivors. To effectively and appropriately communicate with Deaf survivors, it is imperative to understand Deaf culture. Deaf Unity provides expertise in communication and language access to help ensure the survivor is getting the information they need. Deaf Unity also has knowledge on how to obtain access and services from the system that may not understand the cultural and linguistic needs of Deaf survivors. Deaf Unity can provide support and assistance to mainstream programs in many ways such as obtaining accessibility for services, connecting you with reputable interpreting agencies, and provide cultural training to ensure the program is Deaf friendly.

While Deaf Unity may not have some certain services and resources to offer such as legal advocacy, we will work together with various agencies and programs through co-advocacy, to help ensure the Deaf survivors receive the services they need, with the cultural and linguistic competency needed.

What does Co-Advocacy look like?  
Deaf Unity advocate has the expertise in understanding Deaf culture, working with Deaf survivors, and communicates in American Sign Language. Deaf Unity advocates utilized a Deaf-centered, survivor-centered, and trauma-informed approach when working with Deaf survivors.

The Deaf Unity Advocate's role is to support and empower Deaf survivor to receive services they need, such as legal advocacy through a partner agency. The Advocate may assist the Deaf survivor to schedule an appointment with the legal advocate. Deaf Unity ensures there will be an American Sign Language interpreter and/or appropriate accommodations for quality and effective communication between the legal advocate and the Deaf survivor.

Through Co-Advocacy with a partner agency, the legal advocate has the expertise in understanding the law as it relates to domestic violence, explaining the different types of restraining orders, and representing the survivor in the court system.

The Legal Advocate's role to assist law enforcement during the survivor's interview, by framing the issues, crafting the questions, and helping with the restraining order process. The Deaf Unity Advocate will also ensure that the process is sensitive to Deaf culture and linguistic needs for the Deaf survivor.

Both, the Legal Advocate and the Deaf Unity Advocate can work together with the court systems to provide clarity, assistance, and cultural competency to conduct an effective relationship with the Deaf survivor.

Building successful and quality collaboration with various agencies is not always easy, but is worth the time and effort. Deaf Unity has both led and collaborated co-advocacy efforts with many mainstreamed programs so we are able to provide high quality and effective services to Deaf survivors. When mainstream programs work together with Deaf Unity, it shows Deaf survivors that they have a team behind them to help expedite their healing journey.

Contact us if your agency is interested in co-advocacy with Deaf Unity.

Cultural Competency

As the only agency in Wisconsin serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing victims of violence, we have a rich set of skills, knowledge, and expertise in working with this unique community. Our team members are deaf, and have personal and professional experiences in the movement of anti-violence. We recognize not every person or agency can become an expert in of every unique need for the communities they serve. That's why we are here to provide services to individuals as well as agencies with cultural competency through co-advocacy, training, and technical assistance. If you have a question for us, or want to work together, just contact us!


We provide trainings to help people working with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes be prepared to work with Deaf people effectively. We help people learn and understand about Deaf culture, hearing privilege, the different methods of communications used within the Deaf community, and violence and oppression in the Deaf community. This training also explains how Deaf Unity can help you, your agency, and the survivor in ensuring services are being provided with access and cultural sensitivity.