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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 15
Seattle City Aging & Disability Services asks for LGBT input
Section One
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Seattle City Aging & Disability Services asks for LGBT input

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The needs of the aging LGBT population have been brought to the forefront thanks to recent media attention. Gay advocacy groups and mental and physical health professionals have all joined together to jumpstart talks about how to best serve that segment of our aging communities unique needs.

Seattle has a large LGBT population and will not remain immune to the issue. With that in mind, the Aging and Disability Services (ADS) organization has set out to develop a community that promotes quality of life, independence, and choice for older people and adults with disabilities in King County - including LGBT persons.

'The Area Plan is a state-required document that reflects the needs of the community, highlights our goals, and serves as the guide for our work over the next four years,' Karen M. Winston, MSW, an official working with Aging and Disability Services for the Seattle Human Services Department told Seattle Gay News. 'The four-year plan we are currently developing is for 2012-2015.'

ADS plans, coordinates, and advocates for a comprehensive service delivery system for older adults, family caregivers, and people with disabilities in King County. ADS is a division of the Seattle Human Services Department and works in partnership with King County and United Way to improve the health and quality of life for seniors and adults with disabilities, connect seniors and adults with disabilities with helpful resources, and provide help and support for caregivers.

The Area Plan charts the course ADS will follow as they seek to create an elder-friendly community.

ADS is engaging community members in activities to better understand local needs. Thanks to an in-depth online questionnaire, ADS hopes to address basic needs, improve health and well-being, promote civic and social engagement, and increase independence for frail older persons and adults with disabilities.

'We have encouraged broad circulation of the questionnaire among these partners,' said Winston. 'Copies of the questionnaire were also widely distributed for those who may not have access to computers.'

ADS staff also assisted with planning and co-sponsored the 2010 LGBTQ Summit, coordinated by Senior Services. ADS will review the report generated from the summit and incorporate findings in the Area Plan, said Winston.

'Between July 25 to August 12, we will conduct a public review process for the draft plan that will include public hearings located throughout King County,' she said. 'We will announce the exact dates and locations of the public hearings as soon as they are available.'

ADS will use public input to develop goals and objectives for the 2012-2015 Area Plan on Aging, said Winston.

If you have any questions, please email karen.winston@seattle.gov.

To take part in the survey visit www. zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BXX4UU7DX. The survey will be available through April 29 and should take 10 minutes to complete.

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