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Do Your LGBT Clients Find You Inclusive and Anti-Discriminatory?

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Do Your LGBT Clients Find You Inclusive and Anti-Discriminatory?

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President Obama issued a proclamation that June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. (Fun nerdy fact: if you search Google for "LGBT pride month" you'll see a special graphic at the top of Google). 

 Are your LGBT clients happy with the care they receive from you? We asked the Network for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in Occupational Therapy to put together some resources for you to make sure that you are meeting your clients’ needs.

First, your LGBT clients want you to understand their issues without having to explain or justify their lives or relationships. This briefing by Social Care Institute for Excellence describes some of the main issues and examples of good practice.

For example: “LGBT people don’t necessarily feel they need special treatment, but they don’t want to have to explain or justify their lives or relationships…Instead they want to feel comfortable, and that they are in an environment where…practitioners are confident to work in an inclusive, anti-discriminatory way.”

Next you should understand some of the barriers that LGBT clients face in accessing healthcare. A free webinar series by GLMA describes some of the barriers and explains how being an informed healthcare professional can make your clients feel more comfortable. Check out the webinars here

There are several resources for teachers that can be applicable to occupational therapy practitioners as well. Such as this document with considerations for teachers that outlines some challenges and provides ideas to try to meet those needs (pdf). 

You’ll find tips like this one: “Learn from your students and their families. Ask questions about their cultures, traditions, communities, experiences, and feelings to ensure that your behavior is respectful and inclusive. At the same time, ensure that these conversations do not tokenize or place the full burden of explanation on students and their families.”

The Guardian’s Teacher Network has resources for teaching LGBT History month that could be useful to practitioners who want to learn more about the topic. This can also help you if you need to inform or teach others about LGBT history.

Finally, you can browse LGBT resources from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration here. The resources include a guide for practitioners to help families support their LGBT children, top health issues for LGBT populations, and more.

A special thank you to the Network for pulling together these resources!

Do you have any resources or tips to share with other occupational therapy practitioners? Please tell us in the comments.

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  • Great resources! thank you