Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services 


ADWAS provides comprehensive and accessible services to Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 90% of our clients are low-income. We are the only organization in the Pacific Northwest that provides accessible services to Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims.

Mission Statement
Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services empowers Deaf and Deaf Blind survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment to transform their lives, while striving to change the beliefs and behaviors that foster and perpetuate violence. We provide comprehensive services to individuals and families, community education, and advocacy on systems and policy issues.
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Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services
8623 Roosevelt Way NE 
(206) 922-7088 

Tiffany S. Williams 
Executive Director 


Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services Programs

Individual and group therapy is provided to adult and child survivors of any gender.

Advocates offer to victims/survivors: *Information and options *Help developing a safety plan *Help dealing with people and agencies involved in a victims situation such as: lawyers, hospitals/doctors, Child Protective Services, housing systems, and other community and government resources. *Help victims learn about their rights such as the legal right to have interpreters and fair access to all agencies and resources. *Services are provided whether the police are involved or not or whether a victim leaves her abuser or not. ADWAS provides services for as long as they are needed by our clients with no charge. All services are provided in American Sign Language (or written/spoken English if the Deaf or hard of hearing client doesn't know sign language.)

ADWAS provides short-term (up to 2 months) housing for domestic violence victims and long-term (up to 2 years) transitional housing for adult victims of domestic violence and their children. ADWAS' "A Place of Our Own" Transitional Housing Program features 19 individual apartments for very low income families who are homeless and low-income (30% of the poverty standard). On-site services are provided to the adult and child residents such as therapy, positive parenting training, independent living skills training, advocacy, specialized programs for child residents, and case management.

Engaging Men
As of October 2012, ADWAS received funding to engage Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing community members in an effort to engage them in the continued movement to end violence against women.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

ADWAS provides all services using an empowerment model where the victims are provided with options and their decisions are supported by their ADWAS Advocate. ADWAS Advocates emphasize personal growth, recovery, self-sufficiency, and provide all services within the context of Deaf culture.     

We recognize that supporting operating costs is not as exciting as programs, ADWAS' program funding is relatively stable. We are most in need of operating funding and funding to expand programs.


Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) serves Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Proven Success
ADWAS is the leader in the nation on providing accessible and successful services to Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In the past two years, they have expanded their focus to include harassment and stalking. For the second time, the US Department of Justice awarded ADWAS a 2 year contract to train 25 Deaf communities from various states to replicate their model. Currently, they have 40 “sister” agencies/programs that they have trained.

Not one Deaf or Deaf-Blind victim living in their transitional housing program and using their services (100% of our residents use our services) has returned to her abuser.

Use of Best Practices
ADWAS has developed approaches that are specific to the needs of their particular clientele. These approaches have become “best practices” in the field. ADWAS has set the standard or best practice, across the country, that only certified and qualified interpreters should be used in the legal system when dealing with Deaf and Deaf-Blind clients.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
From the very beginning of ADWAS there has been an emphasis on maintaining a “Deaf” friendly and accessible environment. They recognize that Deaf people come from many different cultures and their staff must be culturally competent to be successful with their clients. ADWAS’ staff reflect a variety of cultures as well as being Deaf or being culturally Deaf competent.

ADWAS has always been active with the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the domestic violence and sexual assault State Coalitions. ADWAS is the founder of the Justice for Deaf Victims National Coalition, which is a national coalition of programs and organizations that serve Deaf and Deaf-Blind victims.

Financial Health
ADWAS is financially healthy. They are experiencing a decrease or flat giving from individuals, and more competition for foundation/corporate funding. The ADWAS board and Executive Director are actively working on more fundraising including bringing back their auction which was held October 15th.

In 2010 they received increased government support because they received several federal grants for special projects and the City of Seattle slightly increased funding to help pay for a shelter coordinator. In 2011 they are expecting to see their King County funding disappear and a decrease in State funding. They are projecting $54,000 decrease in government funding for 2011.

The Executive Director and Founder of ADWAS is retiring at the end of March 2011. The Search Committee has already gone through their process and has hired a new Executive Director. The new Executive Director is also deaf and has almost 20 years of non profit management with a strong background in business, donor work, fundraising and public speaking and is internationally known in the Deaf community.

ADWAS has 23 years of experience and developed the national model program. They have a strong reputation and are a leader in the field and in the Deaf community. They utilize best practices in the delivery of services and management of the organization. They are going through a leadership transition but the staff and Board have worked together to develop a succession plan.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

12/10/2013 $10,000.00provide general operating support.
12/10/2010 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2008 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.


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