ACON launch project to support LGBTQ+ people with disability

New South Wales health promotion organisation ACON have announced a new project this December 3rd; International Day of People with Disability.

ACON’s LGBTQ People with Disability Project is described as a dedicated unit to provide support, advocacy, skills-bulding and visibility to sexuality and gender diverse people with disabilities across Australia.

The project is accompanied by ACON’s new Queerability Toolkit, a resource for empowering and providing information to people seeking to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

ACON, in partnership with People with Disability Australia (PWDA), was funded in 2018/19 to develop the toolkit to enable LGBTQ people with disability to understand the NDIS, and cultivate the skills and confidence to self-advocate for their needs.

“We’re very excited to be launching this important work in supporting the members of sexuality and gender diverse communities who live with disabilities. We know there is a lack of research and information regarding LGBTQ people with disability in Australia, as well as tailored, community-led support,” said ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill.

“Through what studies have been done, including a scoping study from ACON, we know there are many barriers that prevent LGBTQ people with disability from accessing and receiving the support they deserve and need to ensure their health and wellbeing.”

Senior Policy Officer at PWDA, Giancarlo de Vera adds; “PWDA is excited to partner with ACON on their inaugural disability project.

“The new Queer Ability Toolkit will make it easier for LGBTQA+ people with disability to access the NDIS. Access to NDIS supports will go a long way in ensuring LGBTQA+ people with disability can participate fully in the vibrant LGBTQA+ community, after being excluded for so long.”

LGBTQ Disability Project Co-Design Advisory Group member, Finn O’Keefe, said they’re proud to have been part of the co-design process.

“Starting your NDIS journey can be daunting at first, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We wanted this toolkit to feel like a queer companion – a friend to help guide other LGBTQ people like us through the process.

“With access to information, tips and success stories, I hope that ACON’s QueerAbility toolkit will help people stay resilient, fabulous and strong as they navigate the system and launch their own NDIS journey.”

A study released in 2018 from La Trobe University showed that when compared with the broader disability community, LGBTQ people with disability experience higher rates of discrimination, greater restrictions on freedom of sexual expression, reduced social support and connection, and reduced service access, in particular for transgender people.

“When engaging with disability support services, we know that due to previous negative experiences and perceptions of lack of compassion, apathy, and prejudice, this can lead to distrust of service providers and expectations of poor quality care,” Parkhill continues.

“It can also result in an unwillingness to disclose sexuality and/or gender identity to care workers due to a fear of being rejected, stereotyped, stigmatised or being treated with a heteronormative bias.

“One of the challenges for LGBTQ people with disability is not knowing which service providers understand the nuances of LGBTQ care without prejudiced practices, or are able to offer a truly inclusive service.

“Further to this, sadly in Australia there is no comprehensive protection under anti-discrimination laws to prevent discrimination and a refusal of service from religiously-affiliated support services. This can lead LGBTQ people to be wary of religious-affiliated services of which there are many in the disability sector.

“Entering into disability work and support for our communities has been a long time coming for ACON. We know there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to ensure that LGBTQ people with disability are able to live their healthiest lives, as well as feel safe, included and engaged in the support they receive and the services who work with them.

“We’re extremely proud to launch our disability support project and toolkit, and to work with, and for, all LGBTQ people with disability in NSW.”

For more information on the Queerability Toolkit, head to

Love OUTinPerth Campaign

Help support the publication of OUTinPerth by contributing to our
GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , , ,