OUTSTANDING VICTIM ADVOCATE: ANGELA MCKINLEY
Angela McKinley has been a victim advocate at the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) for over 10 years, where she specializes in assisting individuals who are Deaf/deaf, hard of hearing or who have other disabilities that make them particularly vulnerable. People with disabilities frequently experience significant barriers to reporting crimes and to receiving services after being victimized. Angela works very closely with these victims on a daily basis to ensure that each one of them has full access to all parts of the criminal justice and victim services systems.
Besides helping individual clients, since 2015 Angela has been the project manager for AccessJax, which is a partnership between the City’s Social Services Division, Hubbard House, JSO and the ILRC. The goal of this project is to identify gaps in services to victims of domestic violence who are Deaf/deaf, hard of hearing or who have other disabilities. As part of the project, Angela assisted in conducting interview sessions with over 100 individuals with disabilities, victims of crime, law enforcement personnel, agency administrators, service provider employees and other stakeholders. She and her partners also reviewed physical space, policies and procedures, and the common practices of the partner agencies as part of a victim-centered approach.
After months of arduous work, key findings were identified and a detailed plan has been developed so that physical barriers can be removed, training can be improved, new technology can be leveraged, and policies addressed so that ALL victims can be better served in the future. Whether she is working with an individual client or working to improve an entire system, Angela is a tireless, caring, and compassionate advocate for victims in our community.