CMG, a leading provider of support for people with learning disabilities and associated complex needs, has joined forces with charities CHANGE and Choice Support to launch an easy-read Transgender guide, providing support and advice to individuals across the country.
In the first of its kind, the easy read guide explains to individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism what it means to be transgender; the issues or challenges that may be experienced; and to help them understand their thoughts, feelings, and gender identity. The pioneering booklet enables individuals to be better informed about every day issues that affect people who have or are thinking of transitioning, and incorporated contributions from many people across the many months of its development.
The booklet follows the success of CMG and CHANGE’s previous guide to Keeping Safe Online, aimed at supporting individuals with learning disabilities and other associated complex needs.
The Guide was launched at the national Learning Disability England Conference and is freely available from CMG, Change and Choice Support Websites, as well as accessible via the Supported Loving Network Facebook page and website.
Informed by lived experience
In advance of producing the booklet, CMG worked closely with Clare Project, a transgender support and social group in Brighton, and attended a number of national transgender conferences in London, alongside spending a substantial amount of time researching and speaking to directly with groups about the issues that were more important for trans people.
The voices and experiences of the individuals that CMG, Choice Support and CHANGE support were also incorporated, with people with learning disabilities and/or autism, managers, and support staff participating in the focus groups. The guide is supported by Persia West (Author and Speaker), a trans woman connected with the Clare Project, who provided inspirational insight into the many emotional, social, and practical factors that trans people should be mindful of, as well as the areas that the already existing support networks can assist with.
CMG, Choice Support and CHANGE recognise that each individual’s journey will be personal and different, but the booklet has been designed and produced in a way which allows the individual and their family or support network to have open discussions in a safe and understanding environment, in order to allow everyone to be the person they want to be.
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Michael Fullerton, Clinical Director at CMG who supported with the development of the Guide, said:
“We are incredibly proud to have launched this pioneering Guide, in conjunction with CHANGE and Choice Support, which will go a long way in supporting individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism to understand and access information surrounding being transgender and transitioning.
“A huge amount of work went into getting this excellent publication to where it is today, so I would like to thank those across CMG, CHANGE, Choice Support, Persia West and all the individuals across our network, who contributed”.