The importance of community for those living with a disability

Living communities for those living with a disability

The team at Living Communities share how important community is for LGBTQA+ people living with a disability. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “wellbeing is fundamental to quality of life, enabling people to experience life as meaningful and to be creative and active citizens.”  

Many people in our community do not always benefit from the same social constructs as those who have had a homonormative upbringing. Many find themselves choosing their own family for their own sense of belonging, in essence finding their community. 

March is the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, where the  theme is “Our Future.”  We can imagine and demand a world that accepts us for who we are.

 When considering our future communities, it is important that accessibility and participation are taken into consideration for those of us with a disability, visible or not.

Community participation

 Community participation is the act of engaging with one’s community which is both local and meaningful to them.  Many studies have shown that community involvement improves well-being, including increased life satisfaction, which can reduce stress levels.  Most importantly it promotes a sense of belonging, which is crucial for people with disabilities.  It helps them make connections with studies showing this leads to improved relationships, physical health, and mental wellbeing. 

Imagine a future where we could all belong without the fear of being judged!  The Mardi Gras Parade is a symbol of this, a symbol that we can as a community be more inclusive of people with both physical and neurodiverse disabilities.  

Too often people with disabilities are forgotten or not invited to attend community gatherings, or the venues where they are held are not accessible to them. As a community imagining a better future, we could choose venues that are accessible, design places that are neurodiverse friendly, and become welcoming. Not just to our vibrant LGBTQIA++ Community, but inclusive to members who also live with a disability.  In short, an invitation can start with you. 

Happy Mardi Gras from the team at Living Communities.

Read next:

Ask the Experts: What is Camouflaging or Masking?

Ask the Experts: All people are valid with Living Communities

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