Education Services

Since 2008, OSPN has worked to create positive changes in health care and social services, social engagement, and community building for LGBTQ2+ seniors. In 2021, OSPN changed its approach to education to reflect current volunteer capacities.

Characteristics and objectives of the current program:

  1. Better understand the reality of LGBTQ2+ seniors
  2. Discuss the impact of that reality on lives and organizations; and
  3. Clarify how to better serve LGBTQ2+ seniors.

Types of services proposed in our renewed program:

  1. Co-facilitated group sessions;
  2. Presentations (Speakers’ Bureau ); and
  3. Organizational advice.

Using the new model and materials, we offered several successful group sessions, speaking engagements and organizational advice in 2021. These services were delivered to social service agencies, seniors’ centres and a place of worship.

In 2022, we will be offering several targeted open sessions to specific types of organizations. This year we will also work towards engaging more volunteers and gaining financial support for an Education Services Coordinator.

Characteristics of the 2021 Approach

OSPN LGBTQ2+ Educational Services Program

 Characteristics of the 2021 Approach

  • Relationship-Building with the organization, within OSPN
  • Progressive Self-Assessment for organizations and volunteers
  • Comprehensive Action Plan (e.g. 3 services)
  • Flexibility: format, duration, content of the work within organizations
  • Coherent and unified key objectives and messages
  • Sustained support for volunteers: twinning, updated roster, debriefing, quarterly forums, access to Google Docs
  • Impact Monitoring : organizations, volunteers, OSPN
  • Integration of diversity awareness: in organizations, in OSPN, in our community

Objectives and Key Messages for LGBTQ2+-inclusive Services

OSPN LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Services

Objectives and Key Messages for LGBTQ2+-inclusive Services


Objective: INTRO—Foster a learning climate

Key Messages: 

  • We are part of the people you serve.
  • We want you to know us better so you can do a better job of serving us.
  • We want this session to be a safe space for you to learn.

Objective: WHAT—Better understand the reality of LGBTQ2+  seniors

Key Messages: 

  • Individual persons stories are both specific and representative of many stories.
  • Information about our health conditions, families, discrimination are parts of the broader picture of our reality.
  • We have been sinners, mentally ill or criminals for much of our history.
  • We are very diverse but share some common elements.

Objective: SO WHAT—Better understand the impact of the reality of LGBTQ2+ seniors

Key Messages: 

  • We are more likely to be sick, alone, abused, depressed.
  • We can fear reaching out to services because of our individual and collective history.
  • Some organizations think we don’t exist (”No one has ever said they are gay here”) or deny our existence (”He or she has kids so can’t be LGBTQ”)
  • Some organizations sort of acknowledge we exist (”if we have any, we treat them like everyone else”)

Objective: NOW WHAT—Clarify how to better serve LGBTQ2+ seniors

Key Messages: 

  • Culturally-responsive services are small steps for you and your organization in an on-going process
  • Change requires commitment from every level in the organization.
  • Individuals can be allies in what they say and do.
  • Organizations need to start by being explicit about us : if you do not explicitly include us, you implicitly exclude us.
  • Organizations need to assume some of their clients are LGBTQ2+ even if no one has self-declared.
  • Organizations need to acknowledge that treating everyone the same doesn’t always serve us or other unique populations.
  • Organizations can look at many aspects to see what can be more LGBTQ2+inclusive eg. their programming, governance, staff (hiring, training, evaluation), practices and policies.
  • It is a win-win situation for your organization and for us.

Role Descriptions

OSPN LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Services Program

Role Descriptions


Group Session Facilitator

This role involves:

  • working with the OSPN Program Coordinator before the session (organizational needs assessment, logistics and other plannning)
  • preparing to facilitate the session : take into account proposed general session outline, making changes with other activities or ressources as needed according to needs assessment
  • facilitating or co-facilitating the session virtually or in person as per your stated preferences
  • following up on the session :summarizing for the Program Coordinator and suggesting further action

OSPN would offer these kinds of support:

  • the Program Coordinator as the main contact with the organization and in terms of needs assessment, logistics info, etc
  • session generic outline and materials
  • support from another facilitator during preparation if needed
  • advice in order to modify generic outline and access alternative materials if needed
  • a co-facilitator if preferred whenever possible
  • technical support if needed

Speaking Engagements Presenter

This role involves:

  • working with the OSPN Program Coordinator before the presentation (organizational needs assessment, logistics and other plannning)
  • preparing to present : reviewing notes on key messages and other relevant materials, adding your own speaking notes
  • making the presentation virtually or in person as per your stated preferences
  • following up on the presentation :summarizing for the Program Coordinator and suggesting further action

OSPN would offer these kinds of support:

  • the Program Coordinator as the main contact with the organization and in terms of needs assessment, logistics info, etc
  • key messages and other materials
  • support from another speaker during preparation if needed
  • advice in order to access alternative materials if needed
  • technical support if needed

Organization Development Advisor

This role involves:

  • working with the OSPN Program Coordinator before working with the organization (organizational needs assessment, logistics and other plannning)
  • preparing to work with the organization : consult and choose relevant materials, making changes as needed according to needs assessment; prepare personal notes
  • working with organizational representatives virtually or in person as per your stated preferences
  • following up on your work :summarizing for the Program Coordinator and suggesting further action

OSPN would offer these kinds of support :

  • the Program Coordinator as the main contact with the organization and in terms of needs assessment, logistics info, etc
  • guides, tool kits and other materials
  • support from another advisor during preparation if needed
  • advice in order to modify materials if needed

LGBTQ-Friendly Good Practices Checklist

OSPN LGBTQ2+ Inclusive Services Program

LGBTQ-Friendly Good Practices Checklist