VALID undertook an exciting project focussed on LGBTIQA+ disability, working alongside disability organisations and LGBTIQA+ community healthcare services. As part of this project, a survey was developed and distributed in partnership with Pride Foundation Australia, Inclusion Melbourne, Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard and Carers Australia and self-advocates. The purpose of the survey was to understand individuals lived experiences and to find out how we can best promote self-advocacy within this intersection of our community.
The Survey is now CLOSED. Thank you to all who participated in the survey. If you have issues you wish to raise in regards to self-advocacy, community-related concerns or supports we encourage you to contact your local advocacy organisation or contact Pride Foundation Australia for advice (click here).
Results from the survey point to a need for improved access to LGBTIQ services for people with a disability and support dealing with discrimination, abuse and violence. The majority of respondents reported a need for improved awareness of the issues that LGBTIQ people with a disability face and more advocacy for disability inclusion within LGBTIQ events, organisations and spaces.
People living in regional areas can face increased isolation, with one respondent reporting that “rural LGBTIQ is totally forgotten. No support around let alone meetings or socials for country folks.” Another echoed this feeling reporting that, “due to distance, I feel isolated.” More than 80% reported it was important to be able to freely express their sexual orientation and also gender identity. Most respondents feel comfortable sharing their sexual orientation with disability service providers.
As part of the project, VALID has set up a Facebook group which is open to all LGBTIQA+ people with a disability in Victoria called LGBTIQA+ Disability Collective. VALID has launched a self-advocacy group which will promote mutually supportive relationships and build pride and resilience. Our first get together has been organised at the Multicultural Hub in Melbourne on Saturday June 29th, 2019.
Jake Lewis is working on this project for VALID two days a week and is happy to talk with anyone who has ideas, information or questions about the intersection of disability/sexuality and gender identity.
- Jake Lewis, Project Worker. [email protected] / (03) 9416 4003
- Dominique Moollan (Mr), VALID Project Admin.
- Organising a survey to be informed by and distributed to the LGBTIQ/PWD community right across Victoria.
- Selecting five mentors to receive advocacy training and to support peers allocated to the project
- Connecting with and sending expressions of interest out to at least 20 people from the LGBTIQ community who live with disability. These 20 people will be:
- trained to become stronger self-advocates and peer group leaders
- help with co-design
- identify the unique barriers to access and inclusion that LGBTIQ people with disabilities face.
In May 2019 the goal is for the project Alliance to negotiate a stronger presence and or relationship with the Victorian Pride Centre. It will report on its achievements and future roles as a result of the data received from the membership survey.
The Alliance will move into the Peer Action Group structure of VALID. The goal is to sustain the group with supports provided to do this by VALID.
Following the opening of the Victorian Pride Centre building (located in St Kilda sometime in 2019-2020) the Alliance will seek space at the Centre for meetings and office space if required.
The Peer group leaders and mentors who will have been trained in self-advocacy, advocacy skills and leadership will be poised to assume leadership roles within the Alliance beyond the closure of the funded project.