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posted Friday, November 20, 2020 - Volume 48 Issue 47
HRC & partners release guide to help educators & parents advocate for LGBTQ students with disabilities
Section One
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HRC & partners release guide to help educators & parents advocate for LGBTQ students with disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC (November 17, 2020) - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released "Advocating for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities," a powerful new resource that provides educators and parents an overview of the rights of LGBTQ students with disabilities, as well as actionable recommendations on how to best support them. It includes a blueprint for successfully developing an individualized education program (IEP) for special services or a 504 plan for academic accommodations for LGBTQ students with disabilities.

The resource was developed in collaboration with legal and education experts at the National Education Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"LGBTQ students with disabilities face unique challenges as a result of their disability status that can be exacerbated by bias related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression," said Vincent Pompei, director of HRC's Youth Well-Being Program and annual Time to THRIVE conference. "Educators, school pyschologists, parents and other adult allies play an important role in ensuring the safety, inclusion and well-being of these students -- including developing Individualized Education Programs and 504 plans so they are free from discrimination, both because of their disability status and their LGBTQ identities."

The guide offers specific strategies for supporting LGBTQ students with disabilities, including creating school policies to affirm students' gender identity, name, and pronouns; assisting students in developing self-advocacy skills; and implementing schoolwide, multitiered behavioral frameworks that instruct students and school staff on how to behave respectfully and outline how to address problem behavior.

The HRC will also use this resource to inform a variety of HRC Foundation programs for youth and youth-serving professionals, including the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program; Welcoming Schools; All Children-All Families, Project THRIVE; and the annual Time to THRIVE Conference.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.

Courtesy of the HRC

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