I have decided to use the Disability Watchdog blog to dedicate for the next couple of weeks concerning the LGBT community and the use of Louisiana Rehab Services. Let me say that the issue concerning very little knowledge among the LGBT community of LRS services has been eye-opening because I had the honor of attending an LGBT awareness forum at ULL in Oct of 2010. It was during that presentation that this transgendered student by the name of Jonathon shared his fustrations concerning the stigma that was being delivered. I asked Jonathon about LRS and he had applied for services during his career, Jonathon said “No.”
It is important to note that Louisiana Rehab Services is in a “order of selection” process which means that only the severed disabled individuals could be selected and the reason for the order of selection is because of budget issues. The other reason for me taking up the issue is at the opening session of the FY 11-12 of the Rehab Council; Workforce Commission Communications director Tiffany Dickerson echoed the concern that “LRS was being only viewed as the best kept secret.”
Let me say as a concluding thought that when Jonathon mentioned to the audience that he had never heard of LRS, his story was just another example of an individual from the LGBT community here in Louisiana that “fell through.” This is why awareness among the LGBT community is needed concerning accessing LRS because trust me folks, there are many Jonathons across Louisiana that are falling through the cracks.