Across many, if not all, cultural and social groups within Australia, there are LGBTQIA+ identifying people, including within the disability community. Get to know the NDIS LGBTQIA+ Strategy and how to access inclusive services.
LGBTQIA+ people with disability
LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and agender/asexual. This acronym, ever evolving, is used to inclusively describe the diverse group of sexual preferences and orientations of people who do not identify as heterosexual (a person attracted to the opposite sex) and/or Cisgender (identifying with the gender assigned at birth).
Data provided by the latest census reveals that although roughly one in five Australians’ have a disability, LGBTQIA+ people are twice as likely to require support due to a disability. Research also shows that Queer people are more likely than to be a carer for a person with a disability than other Australians.
Does the NDIS have a LGBTQIA+ strategy?
In June 2020, the NDIS released their LGBTQIA+ Strategy in direct response to individuals and organisations asking for changes to be made regarding the treatment of LGBTQIA+ people with disability. The strategy was developed in consultation with people with disability who identify as LGBTQIA+ and peak organisations in the LGBTQIA+ community and disability sector.
The NDIS recognise that LGBTQIA+ people with disability often encounter challenges and obstacles that prevent them from being fully supported.
Challenges LGBTQIA+ people with disability may experience are:
Limited access to LGBTQIA+ inclusive and fully accessible services
Bullying and exclusion
Denial of care
Since releasing the LGBTQIA+ Strategy, the NDIA has introduced:
A Cultural Awareness Training module: Celebrating Diversity: LGBTQIA+ Inclusion
Targeted NDIA community engagement initiative with community engagement teams focusing on ensuring that LGBTQIA+ communities are aware of and feel safe to access and use the NDIS
Information Linkages and Capacity (ILC) grant options for initiatives specifically aimed at people with disability from LGBTQIA+ communities
Promotion of LGBTQIA+ days of significance, taking opportunities to actively engage with important events in the LGBTQIA+ calendar to raise awareness and promote inclusion
NDIA LGBTQIA+ Allies Network for employees to provide expert knowledge, shared experiences, and to further support people who identify with LGBTQIA+ communities
For the full LGBTQIA+ Strategy, click here.
Although LGBTQIA+ people with disability still encounter many challenges and barriers, NDIS cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, and any other aspects of diversity. If you are applying to the NDIS, the only criteria to be considered is based around your disability (check out the NDIS website for more information on their criteria).
How to access inclusive LGBTQIA+ services
A key aim of the NDIS is to provide choice and control over the supports and services you want as part of your NDIS journey. Although, all these services should be inclusive, research shows that the LGBTQIA+ community under uses the supports and services available to them, often due to actual or anticipated cases of discrimination.
For LGBTQIA+ people seeking inclusive services, there is an initiative called the Rainbow Tick. This is a “framework that helps health and human services organisations show that they are safe, inclusive, and affirming services and employers for the LGBTIQ community.”
The accreditation process is provided by the Quality Innovation Performance and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards through independent assessment. The assessment provides national recognition for those that meet the Rainbow Tick Standards, which have been specifically designed to suit health and community organisations that are committed to safe, inclusive practice and service delivery for LGBTQIA+ people.
The initiative is owned and developed by Rainbow Health Australia and is designed to build lasting LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
For more information on Rainbow Health, click here.
For more information on Rainbow Tick, click here.
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