LivedX 2022 series: Full policy paper - Healthcare settings for LGBTQIA+ Youth with disability


    Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) is the national representative organisation for children and young people with disability aged 0 to 25 years. CYDA hosted a consultation in December 2021 with 11 participants that sought to understand the intersecting experiences of LGBTQIA+[1] young people with disability in medical and healthcare settings. The consultation was co-designed by a working group of young disabled people.

    What young people said

    Key themes that emerged included the need for a more intersectional approach in healthcare, inadequate understanding and confidence around gender diverse and neurodivergent[2] people, limited instances of healthcare providers with lived experience of these intersecting identities, a systemic issue of medical practitioners making incorrect assumptions, and a lack of dedicated or appropriate services to affirm people’s identities.


    1.    Recommendations for government:

    • Commit to the development of a national LGBTQIA+ Healthcare Strategy, which includes a focus on healthcare for disabled clients, young clients, gender diverse clients, and neurodivergent clients.
    • Invest in research exploring the experiences of LGBTQIA+ disabled young people, including a focus on transgender and gender diverse-specific health outcomes and treatments. Provide additional funding under the National Disability Advocacy Program[3] to work in collaboration with specialist advocacy organisations to develop tailored advocacy approaches for LGBTQIA+ people with disability.

    2.    Recommendations for healthcare settings and medical service providers:

    • Investigate opportunities to de-clinicalise medical spaces and to make them more inviting for queer disabled clients.
    • Implement the suggestions to improve patient-care for young queer disabled people made in this paper, including ensuring spaces meet physical accessibility requirements and utilising digital platforms, such as social media, to support engagement.

    3.    Recommendations for healthcare regulators and peak medical bodies:

    • Engage collaboratively with LGBTQIA+ and Disability Representative Organisations to develop accredited LGBTQIA+ cultural competency training for health professionals, as well as improving existing training through engagement with lived experience.

    4.    Recommendations for medical professional development and education providers:

    • Engage with LGBTQIA+ and Disability Representative Organisations to collaboratively examine opportunities for improvements to the education and development pipeline to support more LGBTQIA+ and disabled people entering healthcare professions.
    • Work with healthcare settings and medical service providers to identify opportunities for on-the-job, ongoing education and training which is co-designed with the LGBTQIA+ disabled community.

    [1] LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Aromantic/Asexual, with the ‘+’ being an umbrella for all other gender, sexual, and romantic minorities. Detailed definitions available at: Your guide to words and definitions in the LGBTQIA+ community (

    [2] ‘Neurodivergent’ is a non-medical umbrella term for people whose brain works differently. It typically refers to, but is not limited to, conditions such as autism, ADHD, epilepsy and Tourette’s syndrome

    [3] Commonwealth of Australia. (2022). Available at: National Disability Advocacy Program (

    Full suite of resources for this topic

    [1] AIHW. (2022). People with disability in Australia. Available at: Engagement in Education (

    Other policy papers in this series