Raising the digital literacy of professionals to address inequalities and exclusion of LGBTQI community
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the LGBTQI community. Lockdown, restricted movement, and curfews have been imposed across the globe, leaving the most vulnerable communities the most at risk. ILGA’s -Europe report issued after the first months of COVID-19 has stated that, while the virus does not discriminate per se, it is very clear that it hits marginalized communities disproportionally harder. In addition, social distancing and other prevention measures, as needed as they are, can have an unwanted negative impact. A study of LGBTQI people’s experience during the pandemic, by University College London (UCL) and Sussex University, showed that 90% of those who had experienced homophobia or transphobia suffered from depressive symptoms. Around a sixth of the respondents to the Queerantine study said they had faced discrimination during the pandemic because of their sexuality. On the other hand, professionals and frontline officers who stayed open during lockdown were not adequately equipped to address the needs of the LGBTQI population.
As an answer to the aforementioned challenges, the project aims to equip professionals in Europe with the necessary resources so as to be able to cope with the online technologies and social distancing for better serving the excluded LGBTQI population. This is a novel situation for the whole world, to which our proposed action will attempt to respond by using innovative tools and practices. With the introduction of an online platform and training materials tailored to the needs of professionals for the development of their digital skills, the project will contribute to the elimination of LGBTQI vulnerability and exclusion from health, mental health and social support services.
Objectives of the project
- Support professionals, relief aid officers, social workers, mental health and health care providers on how to better include intersectionality and LGBTQI perspectives in their work
- Enhance their acquisition of digital competences for the delivery of high quality and inclusive support towards LGBTQI beneficiaries
- Create an incentive for VET, adult education, professionals and stakeholders to adopt the project approach after its closure
- Strengthen transnational learning networks among institutions and professionals and foster social inclusion and equality of LGBTQI in health, humanitarian and economic relief efforts
- Raise awareness on medical and mental health inequalities faced by the LGBTQI community