Sexual Minority Women and Trans People with Disabilities

Here is where it all (sort of) comes together!

4317418-475In July 2014, I was invited to write a book chapter about the health and well-being of sexual minority women and trans people with disabilities for a book focused on the health and well-being of women with disabilities.

This book is partly an outcome of the “Inequity to Equity:  Promoting Health and Wellness of Women with Disabilities” Conference, which was held in Washington, DC, in 2011. There I presented some of the groundwork for my dissertation project and met one of the book’s editors.

Inequity to equity: APA hosted its first conference on empowering women with disabilities, J. Chamberlin (article summarizing the conference, including a quote by yours truly!)

Edited by Caroline Signore and Shari E. Miles-Cohen, this book breaks new ground as there are currently no books focused on the health of women with disabilities from an integrated care perspective.

Summer 2016: The book is now available for purchase!

Click here to view/download a copy of my chapter. 

Click here for a review of the book.

March 2017: Another review of the book, featuring some praise of my chapter in particular 🙂

“Through my own qualitative research in disability issues, I have learned from participants that the experience of disability is often seen as an identity rather than an impairment or even a social construction. Individuals who experience disability as a source of community and pride often reject the equation of disability with poor physical and mental health or as a risk factor. For example, many members of the Deaf community perceive their hearing loss as a cultural asset rather than as a medical deficit. The inclusion of more scholarship from contemporary disability studies would have offered another perspective when thinking about how women with “disabilities” qualitatively experience their otherness. Although most chapters in this volume included recommendations for improving healthcare for women with disabilities, a few chapters felt lacking. In “We Exist: The Health and Well-Being of Sexual Minority Women and Trans People with Disabilities,” Lesley A. Tarasoff included well-researched and culturally-sensitive guidelines for how to ask about sexual health as well as how to integrate the American Psychological Association’s best practice standards. Other chapters were less concrete in their recommendations, and I found myself wishing for specific steps or guidelines for implementation that I could bring to my own primary care team” (Wagner, 2017).

I look forward to doing more work to eliminate health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations with disabilities… stay tuned!