Why are we doing this plan?
Australians of diverse sexual orientation, sex or gender identity may account for up to 11 per cent of the Australian population (Department of Health, 2012).
Studies have found that people on the autism spectrum were 7.6 times more likely than neurotypical people to have a gender identity different to that of the sex they were assigned at birth. (Strang et al, 2014). Research also suggests that autistic people report increased homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality (George and Stokes, 2018). There is an increased need for support and inclusion for non-heterosexual Autistic individuals.
Aspect recognises the importance of building an LGBTQIA+ Engagement Plan into our core business. As we continue our work in partnership with the autism community and our autistic workforce, we want to foster a culture and workplace in Aspect that allows all employee to feel welcomed, valued and safe. We want our services to be respectful and skilled in recognising and understanding the voice of autistic LGBTQIA+ people in service delivery and within the workplace.
This plan was developed in consultation with our leadership team, employees, external agencies and autistic and LGBTQIA+ people.
These consultations identified the following two priorities areas and actions that Aspect teams and employees can begin to implement throughout 2020:
1. Policy, leadership and training
- Review policies, induction and training relating to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the workplace
- Review Aspect Writing Style Guidelines to ensure that the language and approach is respectful towards the LGBTQIA+ community
- Explore opportunities to undertake specialised LGBTQIA+ inclusion training
- Implement a training strategy for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the workplace that all employees can access including induction, resources, online and face to face options
- Formalise an Aspect LGBTQIA+ staff Working Group
- Establish an internal LGBTQIA+ peer network of support
- Acknowledge, celebrate and participate in LGBTQIA+ awareness raising of significant dates, events and activities (e.g. Mardi Gras events, IDAHOBIT, Wear it Purple, Pride Month, art exhibitions etc.)
2. Partnerships, resources and services
- Continue to work in partnership with the external Aspect LGTBQIA+ Advisory Committee to inform best practice
- Improve the diversity of images and case studies that represents the voice of LGBTQIA+ employees, LGBTQIA+ autistic people and families
- Work in partnership with autistic people in the development and delivery of Aspect’s communications
- Explore the development of partnerships with external LGBTQIA+ organisations and communities including sharing learnings with other agencies who have LGBTQIA+ Engagement Plans
- Identify existing resources that support the LGBTQIA+ and autism community and communicate this information internally and externally
- Identify gaps and develop new resources that will benefit the Autistic community from early intervention programs, through school and into adulthood.
Aspect Strategy Plan 2019 - 2021
The Aspect LGBTQIA+ Engagement Plan is part of the 2019 – 2021 Strategy Plan. We will review and evaluate our progress towards this plan throughout 2020.
We welcome any comments or feedback from the community.
You can contact our Inclusion Officer below
George & Stokes. Gender identity and sexual orientation in autism spectrum disorder, 2018.
George & Stokes. Sexual Orientation in Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2018.
Strang et al. Increased gender variance in autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, 2014.