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Assessing Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competency of Organizations Serving Georgia’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Older Adults

Thank you for your interest in exploring your organization’s level of inclusiveness of LGBT older adults within your programs and services. Many LGBT older adults often remain hidden within the mainstream Aging population and remain fearful of seeking out needed services. This fear is often based on years of discrimination and/or unacceptance from health and social service providers as well as peers and other members of their own community.  Many are regressing back into a life of secrecy in order to receive the services they need.

Current estimates indicate that there are upwards of 2.4 Million LGBT elders in the United States which is expected to nearly double by 2030. Given these numbers, chances are your organization is already serving LGBT older adults but may not be aware.  This growing population is seeking out programs and services that are safe, respectful, and inclusive of LGBT older adults.  The purpose of this process is to identify LGBT inclusive programs and services within the State-wide Aging Network.

This tool is designed to identify both the level of inclusiveness of LGBT populations within your organization’s policies as well as the friendliness of its practices and programs. It is intended to highlight areas that may warrant policy updates and/or staff training, as well as confirm areas in which your organization already demonstrates an inclusive environment for LGBT older adults.

An LGBT Friendly organization is an organization in which LGBT individuals participate in the day-to-day programming and services of an organization. An LGBT Inclusive organization is an organization that has earned the LGBT Friendly distinction, as well as including both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in its policies and procedures. In order to be under consideration for the LGBT Inclusive title, an organization must submit its policies for review by the Health Initiative.

REVIEW this FREE Webinar: “Serving the LGBT Community: What you Want to Know”

Click or copy and paste the following link into your browser: http://youtu.be/e6ZpL1k56O8

Guidance for Completing the Assessment

  • The organizational self-assessment tool has been designed to focus on three key areas:

1. Organizational Culture

2. Programs and Services

3. Outreach and Marketing

  • The self-assessment tool is comprised of twenty-five (25) questions and is not time consuming but should be thought provoking.
  • It may be helpful to review this tool with key staff to engage in discussion and various perspectives from key members of your organization.
  • The tool should be filled out by staff familiar with your policies and procedures, programs, and services.
  • For those organizations acknowledging the use of inclusive language such as “sexual orientation” and/or “gender identity” in your policies & procedures and marketing materials; you will be required to submit copies of these documents along with your self-assessment tool for review.

How your organization can be designed as LGBT Inclusive

1. Complete the Self-Assessment Tool to determine your readiness.
Assessing Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competency of Organizations Serving LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Older Adults (Self-Assessment Tool) if housed on the following websites:

www.CenterForPositiveAging.org
www.TheHealthInitiative.org

2. Complete the assessment (see link below) and submit documentation (policies) demonstrating your organization’s inclusiveness.

 Self-Assessment Tool results showing:

  • a response of 3 to questions 1 and 7 under the “Organizational Culture” section;
  • the “yes” box checked for question 8; and
  • a response of 3 must to questions 11, 12, and 13 under the “Programs and Services” section.

 Submit policies demonstrating your organizations inclusiveness.

3. Within 30 days, you will receive a letter to provide to the state to activate your organizations LGBT Inclusive designation.

Assessment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Will this affect my state funding if I chose not to complete the self-assessment tool?
    No. This initiative is only designed to identify those Aging services organizations that are inclusive and welcoming of LGBT older adults.  In doing so, LGBT older adults can be better informed of programs and services inclusive of their needs.
  • Will I receive acknowledgement once my organization is deemed LGBT Inclusive?
    Yes. Once your organization receives the determination of LGBT Inclusive, you will receive written confirmation as well as a designation within the statewide database of aging services providers that is utilized by the State’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) Network for information, service intake, and referrals.
  • What is the cost?
    There is no cost associated with this process.
  • I think my non-discrimination policy covers what you want; can I send it to you to look at before filling this out?
    Yes. For assistance please contact the Health Initiative.
  • Do I need to renew my organizations inclusive designation every year?
    No.  The designation of LGBT Inclusive reflects those organizations that have institutionalized their policies and procedures to reflect LGBT populations.
  • What is the difference between LGBT inclusiveness and LGBT friendliness?
    Your organization’s programs and services will be evaluated for LGBT friendliness. An LGBT friendly organization includes LGBT older adults and their families of choice in its programs, volunteers, and committees and advisory boards. Organizations that earn an LGBT Friendly designation will be listed as a resource on the websites of both the Health Initiative and LeadingAge Georgia.

    Your organization’s policies will be evaluated for LGBT inclusiveness. An LGBT inclusive organization includes both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in its policies and procedures, as well as having programs and services that have earned the LGBT Friendly designation. These policies must be submitted to the Health Initiative for evaluation to be considered for this distinction. Organizations earning an LGBT Inclusive designation will appear in the statewide database of aging service providers (formerly Agewise Connection/EPS), as well as being listed as a resource on the websites of both the Health Initiative and Leading Age Georgia.

  • My organization was previously found to be LGBT “friendly” but now I want to be designated at LGBT Inclusive, what do I do?
    Being designated as LGBT Inclusive requires organizations to submit their non-discrimination policies for review to insure the terms “sexual orientation” and/or “gender identity” are included. You may contact the Health Initiative for assistance in this process.
  • This assessment made me realize we are underserving. What can I do?
    You can contact the Health Initiative for assistance and guidance in marketing your services to LGBT older adults. They will be able to provide you with suggestions of effective outreach strategies, examples of inclusive policies and procedures, and/or program ideas targeting LGBT older adults.
  • What if management is not behind this initiative but I think it is needed in our organization?
    You may contact either The Health Initiative or The Center for Positive Aging for assistance on the need to effectively communicate this initiative to your director and engage in a dialog or training to further educate the members of your organization.
  • How long will it take for us to hear back from you regarding the assessment we submitted?
    Organizations should receive a response within 30 days of their self-assessment submittal.