New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (NYS DDPC) has granted funding to create training with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) that identify as LGBTQ, their families, and staff. The DDPC conducted focus groups in the last 5 years. From these two focus groups (and conversations in additional focus groups that were not specific to this community) participants identified a great need for future DDPC work in supporting those with disabilities from the LGBTQ community. Some of the suggestions included: capacity building for current self-identified disability LGBTQ groups, strengthening the network between groups that have a LGBTQ disability focus, and also building stronger connections with LGBTQ groups without a disability focus. Participants additionally noted a need for more training and education about sexuality for individuals with disabilities, their families, and staff. Lastly, many cited multiple barriers to connecting with other LGBTQ individuals in the community, a lack of appropriate and safe venues to discuss being (and supporting others who are) LGBTQ with a disability, and often having increased feelings of social isolation due to stigma and a lack of social opportunities.
In an effort to help minimize some of these barriers, increase opportunities to thrive and connect with the community, and strengthen advocacy around and by people with disabilities that are LGBTQ, the NYS DDPC seeks to do the following:
- Help build the capacity of and connection between current and future Disability LGBTQ advocacy and support groups.
- Educate and train support staff, individuals with disabilities, and families about sexuality and being LGBTQ with a disability.
- Support inclusive community and social opportunities for those with disabilities who identify as LGBTQ.
This project was supported, in part by grant number C00018GG, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201 through the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (NYS DDPC). Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy or the opinions, interpretation or policy of the NYS DDPC.