LGBTQI+ Disabled People using Self-Directed Support

At a glance 70
Published: October 2017

Key messages

Introduction

This briefing provides information for LGBTQI+ Disabled People who are or wish to be in charge of their social care support and who employ personal assistants (PAs) or support workers.

It is based on research in England carried out by a partnership of the University of Bristol, Regard (the national LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s organisation), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Stonewall. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research.

Self-Directed Support can be a way for us to have more choice and control over the social care support we receive.

The quotations used in this document are from people who took part in the research. This briefing is accompanied by a briefing for PAs and support workers and two films – one for LGBTQI+ Disabled People and one for PAs and support workers.

LGBTQI+ means

People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex or who hold identities such as non-binary.

LGBTQI+ Disabled People may have physical or sensory impairments, learning difficulties, long-term health conditions and/or mental health difficulties, and come from all age groups, religions and cultural backgrounds. Our identities reflect the challenges and discrimination that we face because of our gender, religion, age and cultural backgrounds, in addition to our gender and sexual orientation. Disabled people are as likely to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex or non-binary as non-disabled people.

What is Self-Directed Support?

...I liked the idea of being able to control who came into my life...

Our rights

I have the right to be who I am in my own home, so I need people working for me who can see me for who I am.

Being out to our PAs

PAs all know I’m gay and if they don’t like it, tough. It took a long time for me to come out of the closet and I think it’s very important that people’s sexual orientation should be accepted.

Having a social life

My PA was delighted to come on Pride with me... I’m very open with [my PAs] about my work, my lifestyle, about my orientation and about my gender. I need people to work with me that respect my independence and who are happy to see me participating in my community doing things that enrich me.

One of my PAs helps me to set up my computer so that I can meet people online. It took a bit of time before we got to that stage but now we have a system, it’s fairly straightforward and comfortable.

Communication is very important. It’s important to have a conversation before you leave for any date or any social event.

Recruiting personal assistants (PAs)

Some ideas about recruiting PAs who will respect our sexual orientation and gender identity:

Well, what I tend to do when I’m placing adverts is say, you know, ‘Disabled lesbian, dogs, cats’.

Skills for Care has produced a toolkit to help us employ our own PAs.

Some tips for employing personal assistants and support workers:

Resources / further reading

Organisations

Stonewall

Britain’s leading LGBT charity which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality in Britain and abroad.

Contact: Website or Email

Information Line 08000 50 20 20 open Monday to Friday, 9.30 – 5.30pm

Regard

National LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s organisation; associate membership for allies and organisations is also available.

Contact: Website or Email
BM Regard, London WC1N 3XX

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Independent statutory body with responsibility to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and protect and promote the human rights of everyone in Britain.

Contact: Website

Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

Offers expert information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights issues and the law.

Contact: Website
FREEPOST EASS HELPLINE, FPN6521.
Tel: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including checking people’s criminal records.

Contact: Website or Email
DBS helpline: 03000 200 190
Minicom: 03000 200 192

About this briefing

This briefing was based on research in England carried out by a partnership of the University of Bristol, Regard (the national LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s organisation) , the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Stonewall.

Funding logo of National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR)This briefing presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) .

The views expressed are not necessarily those of NIHR SSCR, the Department of Health, or the NHS.