Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is: My niece just came out to me and she also has a disability. How can I learn more about the intersection of disability and LGBTQIA+ issues and be more supportive of my niece? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss diversity and inclusion in the American legal profession of lawyers with disabilities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+); stigmatization of LGBTQ+ people with mental illness; challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people with autism in getting healthcare; how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers LGBTQ+ people with disabilities and HIV; the support and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people with disabilities; and more. More about Answered Questions.
From the NARIC Collection:
The article, Diversity and inclusion in the American legal profession: Workplace accommodations for lawyers with disabilities and lawyers who identify as LGBTQ+ (in English), discusses a study from the NIDILRR-funded Southeast ADA Regional Center and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Policy: Center for Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy Research (in English) that investigated who requests accommodations and who is more likely to have requests granted in the legal professionals and considers the experiences of people with disabilities who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, or as having other sexual orientations and gender identities (LGBTQ+), along with others with identities across race/ethnicity, gender identity, and age spectrums. The results indicate that personal identity factors, such as disability status, gender, and age, predict requests for accommodations. The results also highlight the need to consider intersectional identities in the accommodation process.
LGBTQ+ people with mental illness encounter double stigma of mental illness and LGBTQ+ identity that uniquely impact the process of acceptance of mental illness. The article, Lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals with mental illness: Narratives of the acceptance process (in English) from the completed NIDILRR-funded project Improved Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (in English), describes a study that examined the process of acceptance of mental illness for LGBTQ+ people with serious mental health problems. The case studies presented in this study represent participants with LGBTQ+ identities to illustrate the facilitators and barriers in the acceptance process among people in this group. The results from this study suggest implications for psychotherapy and research related to the process of acceptance of mental illness for LGBTQ+ people with mental illness.
The factsheet, Disability Inclusion: Exploring the intersections (in English), describes how many of the strategies used by corporate America in recent years to attract and retain LGBTQ+ individuals have cross applicability to people with disabilities. The factsheet describes policies and procedures as examples of strategies that employers may use to foster an inclusive workplace for all employees.
Research In Focus:
The article, Sexual and Gender Minorities with Autism Spectrum Disorder May Face Challenges to Getting Needed Healthcare, discusses a study from the NIDILRR-funded Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (in English) that looked at the healthcare experiences of adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who identify as LGBTQ+. The researchers wanted to find out if these adults reported poorer health or if they encountered more trouble accessing healthcare than adults with ASD who identified as heterosexual and cisgender, meaning that their gender matches the gender they were assigned at birth. The researchers found that the participants reported multiple challenges to accessing needed healthcare, including feeling as if they were treated poorly by doctors because of their ASD, their LGBTQ+ identities, or both. The authors noted that people with ASD who identify as LGBTQ+ may be at particular risk for mental illness, perhaps related to experiences of trauma stemming from stigma and discrimination. This article is also available in English.
Research shows that LGBTQ+ people are more likely than the general population to have a disability and face systematic challenges in finding employment, community, and more. The factsheet, LGBT People with Disabilities (in English), discusses how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities, including those with disabilities in the LGBTQ+ community, from discrimination. The factsheet also discusses the unique challenges for LGBTQ+ people with disabilities, including limited access to LGBTQ-inclusive and fully accessible services. The factsheet provides recommendations for advancing equality and opportunity for LGBTQ+ people with disabilities.
Support and Inclusion:
The article, Affirming Three Identities: Latinx, LGBTQ, and Having a Hearing Disability, shares the stories of Jimmy Linares and Álvaro García, both of whom are gay and Deaf and who met as students at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC in 2010. Mr. Linares and Mr. García created Deafies in Drag to educate and entertain the auditory disability and LGBTQ+ communities while using American Sign Language (ASL). The article also shares the work of Melissa Elmira Yingst, professor in the Deaf Department at the California State University. Although most of her work is with the Deaf community, Ms. Yingst works with the Deaf LGBTQ+ community to share how this community is very supportive and accepting, especially for members of the Deaf community who are Deaf and LGTBQ+.
The article, LGBTI people with disabilities face more discrimination, discusses the discrimination faced by people with disabilities who are also on the LGBTQ+ spectrum in Spain and what some organizations are doing end the stigma and discrimination. The author interviewed several LBGT+ people with disabilities to learn about the discrimination they face, including Arturo Góngora who stated, “The discrimination that exists due to disability in general, at times is doubled for being LGBTQ+ because attraction only appears to be towards very stereotyped bodies.” The author also spoke with members of various organizations who agreed that there are steps that society must take to end discrimination and stigma, including ending the silence around the sexuality of people with disabilities; favoring privacy, when at times protection has been prioritized; offering as much autonomy as possible, while avoiding overprotection; access to their own body; and considering the double discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people with disabilities.
- The National LGBT Health Education Center (in English) has created a glossary of the most relevant LGBTQ+ terms for healthcare teams that can help them provide the highest quality care. Definitions vary from one community to another and not all LGBTQ+ patients will agree with all of these definitions. The glossary advises readers on the of use the terms that patients may use to describe themselves and how those terms and their definitions change with time.
- StopBullying.gov provides information on how to help stop the bullying of LGTBQ+ youth, including LGBTQ+ youth with disabilities. The page includes research, information on how to create a safe environment for LGBTQ+ youth, information on federal civil rights laws for LGBT+ people, and additional resources. The website also includes information for youth with disabilities.
- The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging (in English), a project of SAGE (in English), provides a factsheet, Ten Tips for Including People with Disabilities in LGBTQ+ Community, which provides tips and recommendations on including people with disabilities in the LGBTQ+ community. The Center also provides information on local resources for LGBTQ+ elders with and without disabilities (in English).
Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.