This is a reference for Andre Ebouaney

Sign of the Time LGBTQ+ identities and the D/deaf community

The training activity took place
in Pianezza
organised by Fondazione Istituto dei Sordi di Torino ONLUS
24 - 30 April 2023
Reference person

Enrico Dolza

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Aims & objectives

Being a D/deaf LGBTQ+ person comes with a unique set of challenges that can be hard to manage and can have an impact on mental health. Deaf LGBTQ+ people are a minority within a minority, which means they often struggle to find their place and feel accepted within the D/deaf and the LGBTQ+ communities. D/deaf people who are members of the LGBT+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and in any case with non-cisgender gender identity and/or a non-straight sexual and/or romantic orientation) are too often victims of double discrimination. For this reason, the issue of their sexuality is profoundly serious and should be addressed with sensitivity and honesty. This suggests the importance of work that simultaneously explores being disabled and being part of the LGBTQ+ community to promote resource-oriented pathways and structures where they feel comfortable consciously living their sexuality. For that reason, is important to train youth workers able to offer Deaf LGBTQ+ communities helpful information, advice, and support to anyone in need, and a
safe place to meet others.
1) to raise awareness on the presence of deaf LGBTQ+ and on the challenges they face.
2) to provide thematic and methodological tools to work with this target group.
3) Learn the right terminology (spoken and signing) in use to refer to those communities.
4) to share innovative good practices of inclusion of deaf LGBTQ+,
5) to identify the most effective ones and to adapt them at a local level.
6) to promote a working method that is intersectional and that brings cross-sectoral cooperation.
7) Produce a toolkit giving relevant information on how to support D/deaf LGBTQ+ communities.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The training involved 24 D/deaf and Hearing youth workers (knowing Sign Language), (dealing in various capacities with D/deaf and LGBTQ+ issues); educators working with D/deaf young people, as well as D/deaf people actively engaged at the local level in the process of supporting, inclusion and lobbying for the rights of young people who are D/deaf and 3 Sign Language Interpreter from Italy, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Lithuania, Iceland, France and Poland.

Training methods used & main activities

During the training, as methodology, we use inquiry, a technique of self-exploration called "who is in", mindfulness, mindfulness practices for self-observation, while group sharing, brainstorming, world cafes and other modes of sharing support the learning of methodologies for working with young people in general and D/deaf young people. We will also arrange visits to places that work with both D/deaf and LGBTQ+ target audiences. We also engaged experts in the field to give readings and workshops.

Outcomes of the activity

The outcome of the activity was the discovery of self and of one's own attitude/beliefs/feelings related to LGBTQI+ issues, the Deaf community and sexual orientation and the way to work with the D/deaf youth of the target group.
Within the training, we develop the terminology related to the LGBTQ+ community into Sign Language and guidelines to help professionals to give support to D/deaf young people from this target group.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

The team of trainers where compose of 4 people: 2 deaf trainers and one hearing (me).

I worked on this training for 6 days days as a full time trainer.

Testimonial of the reference person

Andre was the person who wrote the project and was one member of the trainer team. He brings his expertise in working with multiply group in an intersectionally way.

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