More than a third of LGBTQI+ disabled people have experienced discrimination or received poor treatment from their personal assistants (PA) because of their sexual identity or gender identity, according to ground-breaking new research.
Researchers also found that many LGBTQI+* disabled people who recruit their own PAs had not come out to their personal assistants because they feared discrimination.
The research, co-produced by the LGBTQI+ disabled people’s organisation Regard, included a survey of more than 50 LGBTQI+ disabled people in England who control their own support packages, as well as 20 in-depth interviews.
More than half of those surveyed said they never or only sometimes disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to their PAs.
Almost a third said they felt they had been discriminated against by their local authority on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
And more than 90 per cent said their needs as an LGBTQI+ disabled person were either not considered or were only given some consideration, when they were assessed or reviewed by their local authority.
More than one in five said their PA did not support them to do “LGBTQI+ things”, like visiting an event or maintaining a relationship.
The research was carried out by the University of Bristol, Regard, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the LGBT charity Stonewall, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s School for Social Care Research.