Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - people with physical disabilities: Doug's story

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Key messages for practice

  1. People with physical disabilities have sexual desires and different sexual orientations just like anyone else.
  2. Discrimination can exist in what we say, what we do and the way we do it.
  3. It is illegal under the Equality Act (sexual orientation) 2007 in the provision of goods to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
  4. Personalisation and direct budgets offer the user of services greater choice and control. However these choices may challenge and test the service provider in providing for LGBT people.
  5. Discrimination still exists in social care and within wider society. Training needs to question personal assumptions around sex and sexuality whilst balancing issues of privacy, safety and respect toward the LGBT individual receiving support.

What is the video about?

In this film we meet Doug, a gay man with physical disabilities who is in residential accommodation eight miles away from his friends and family. Doug carefully considered when to ‘come out' within residential care and explains that this is a continual process because of the high turnover of residential care staff.

Discrimination and insensitivity about Doug's being ‘out' to other residents and suggestions by his providers to ‘keep quiet' around other residents are highlighted in the film. Doug feels he has little opportunity to meet other gay people, so he feels isolated and cut off from the gay community.

Doug believes that a cultural shift and change in attitudes in social care is vital in order to provide relevant care for LGBT people. He also feels that direct payments are only one part of a solution to offer more choice and control to the user of services.

Who will find this useful?

Commissioners; directors of adult social services; social workers; social care workers; service users, their carers and families; social care and social work students; the general public.