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California Protection & Advocacy Inc. invited four people with disabilities who are also members of the GLBT community to talk about their experiences, identify some primary issues and suggest how legal advocates can better serve people at the intersection of these two communities.

Moderator Dara Schur begins by presenting some of the issues that face this community: harassment, discrimination in housing, benefits, and employment; double, triple discrimination for people of color; barriers to health care and insurance, increased youth suicide, increased breast cancer among lesbians; stigma, stereotyping, invisibility and access.

All speakers highlight the pernicious impact of invisibility and non-inclusion on the
GLBT disability community, Corbett O’Toole warns us that most clients will not self-identify: "Hi, I'm a lesbian, will you help me?" Bill Compton describes how deep the closet is for gay people with mental illness.  Keith Dubois challenges us to tear down the "not welcome signs" with a vengeance. Karyn Hernandez recounts how she doesn't fit either in the lesbian or disability world demonstrating why working for inclusion is so vital.

Join us now to witness these eloquent personal histories — stories that provide insight and practical suggestions to help us develop our competence to serve this community.

Click on image for the video.

Moderator Introduction Dara Schur, Director of Litigation at Protection & Advocacy Inc.: This workshop evolved out of a decision that PAI's board of directors made to include the GLBT community among the under-represented groups that PAI serves. We began to think about what it would mean to do outreach. MORE …

Corbett O'Toole, advocate, writer, filmmaker, has done a tremendous amount of thinking, writing and talking about the intersection of disability and LGBT issues. A member of the disability rights movement, Corbett worked at the Center for Independent Livingng in Berkeley and DREDF—Disability Rights & Education Fund. MORE …

Bill Compton,  was director of Project Return: The Next Step, a program that offers peer-to-peer support to people with mental illness in Los Angeles County. As a PAI board member, Bill was at the forefront in raising GLBT issues for PAI and the disability community at large. MORE …

Keith Dubois,  is Assistant Warm Line Coordinator for the Friendship Line at Project Return: The Next Step, a program that offers peer-to-peer support to people with mental illness in Los Angeles County. He also serves as the president of the Quality Assurance Board
of Pacific Clinics.

Karyn Hernandez,  is a disability advocate and activist living in Berkeley. Most recently, she ran a program at the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley for people with developmental disabilities. She is also a former board member of Easy Does It Disability Assistance. MORE …