HRC & Partners Release Guide to Help Educators and Parents Advocate for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities

by HRC staff

Resource developed with National Education Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists and National Center for Lesbian Rights

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released Advocating for LGBTQ Students with Disabilities, a powerful new resource that provides educators and parents an overview of the rights of LGBTQ students with disabilities, as well as actionable recommendations on how to best support them. It includes a blueprint for successfully developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special services or a 504 plan for academic accommodations for LGBTQ students with disabilities.

The resource was developed in collaboration with legal and education experts at the National Education Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

LGBTQ students with disabilities face unique challenges as a result of their disability status which can be exacerbated by bias related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Educators, school psychologists, parents and other adult allies play an important role in ensuring the safety, inclusion and well-being of these students -- including developing Individualized Education Programs and 504 plans so they are free from discrimination, both because of their disability status and their LGBTQ identities.”

Vincent Pompei, Director of HRC’s Youth Well-Being Program and annual Time to THRIVE conference

The guide offers specific strategies for supporting LGBTQ students with disabilities, including creating school policies to affirm students’ gender identity, name and pronouns; assisting students in developing self-advocacy skills; and implementing schoolwide, multi-tiered behavioral frameworks that instruct students and school staff on how to behave respectfully and outline how to address problem behavior.

HRC will also use this resource to inform a variety of HRC Foundation programs for youth and youth-serving professionals, including the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program; Welcoming Schools, All Children-All Families, Project THRIVE and the annual Time to THRIVE Conference.

Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email