TORONTO, June 27, 2016 – The Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) has launched an initiative to help break down any barriers between their organization and the LGBTQ community. "Wear a pin. Open a door." was launched after a study earlier this year showed that Ontario's LGBTQ communities face barriers to finding high-quality home care that meets their unique needs.
The five-year study, conducted by York University researchers in collaboration with Rainbow Health Ontario and the Toronto Central CCAC, was the first to comprehensively examine home care access for LGBTQ people in Ontario. Among its findings was that almost 50% of LGBTQ home care users feared that they would lose the respect of their home care provider should they come out. Approximately one in three feared that their home care provider wouldn't touch them if they knew they were LGBTQ.
"We've always prided ourselves on being an inclusive organization, here to serve the needs of all Torontonians," says Anne Wojtak, Chief Performance Officer at the CCAC. "What this study taught us, however, was that the people we serve don't always see us this way. That's a huge disconnect, and one we want to address."
Beginning this week, the Toronto Central CCAC is inviting staff to wear rainbow pins as a way of more publically indicating their openness to working with members of the LGBTQ community. While the campaign is being launched during Pride Month, staff are encouraged to wear their pins throughout the year to signal their acceptance and "open a door" to those who may be hesitant to disclose their sexual and/or gender identities to their home care providers.
"The Toronto Central CCAC is here for everyone, regardless of their age, race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status or sexual orientation," notes Wojtak. "It's our hope that these pins serve as a visible sign to our community that we are here to support them, and encourage members of the LGBTQ community, as well as all others, to reach out to us should they need CCAC care or support."
About the Toronto Central CCAC
The Toronto Central CCAC connects people across Toronto with quality in-home, clinic and community- based health care. The organization provides information, direct access to qualified care providers and community-based services to help people come home from hospital or live independently at home. Last year, 74,000 residents of Toronto were supported through the Toronto Central CCAC. Driven to provide the best possible outcomes for these clients, the organization is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally as a leader and innovator in the field of homecare.
Julia Oosterman – firstname.lastname@example.org, (647) 409-3284