Welcome to the RAI Online Educaton Program for Health and Human Services professionals. Much of the course content was gathered and organized under a grant from the New York State Department of Health. Each of the modules in the course deals with an area of health and human services that is pertinent to the emotional and physical health of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Even if you are not aware of those cients who may fall into one of these categories, it's very likely that you will meet and serve them.
The modules may be used sequentially or independently, as part of an RAI training program in which you are a participant. Even if you are concentrating in one area, you will have access to all of the modules and are encouraged to complete them.
Rainbow Access Initiative is committed to ensuring that all information provided by persons participating in this program is maintained as confidential. Any information collected by RAI in the course of the program, including biographical information, medical data, and other personal disclosure will never be released to an individual, governmental agency, or other petitioner without the express written consent of the individual participant.
Furthermore, all communication between participants and RAI will be retained by those parties and controlled under the same policy. Information obtained from the participant or other sources shall be considered confidential. Documents created by RAI and/or the participant will not be released to an outside third party without the written consent of the participant.
THE COURSE MODULES
There are eight modules in this course. Click on the title to go directly to any of them, or scroll to the bottom to begin moving sequentially through the course.
Module 1: Barriers to Quality Health Care Services
This introductory module describes the additional unique health care concerns of members of the LGBT community. The barriers that compound those unique concerns and how they put LGBT people at greater risk are explored.
Module 2: Gender and Identity: Understanding Cross-Gender Expression
This module identifies the various health and human service needs of those who are transgendered; this includes those who are coping with cross-gender identity and/or gender dysphoria, as well as those defined as transsexual and intersexed. A newly emerging area for health and human service providers, transgender medicine, which challenges the traditional dimorphic gender system is explored.
Module 3: Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Bias-Related Violence and other Trauma Issues
LGBT people seeking assistance from the medical and mental health communities for trauma-related issues have special needs. This module explains how to recognize trauma-related behavior, how to conduct sensitive interviewing, and how to assist in the recovery issues facing LGBT people who have been the victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and bias-related violence.
Module 4: Relationships and Parenting in the LGBT Community
Many LGBT people develop long-term domestic relationships and become parents through donor insemination, adoption, surrogacy, foster parenting, and step-parenting. In this module, the knowledge and skills essential for asssisting LGBT people in healthy family building are provided.
Module 5: Substance Abuse, Addictions, and Recovery Issues in the LGBT Community
LGBT people experience difficulty with substance use and addictions in numbers higher than the population at large, but the recovery resources available to them are limited. This module details the unique needs impacting their reasons for abusing substances, their relationship to the bars as a social outlet, issues of stress and stigma-management, as well as barriers to obtaining quality treatment services.
Module 6: Sexual and Gender Development--Children and Youth Issues
The development of sexual orinetation and gender identity is a normal part of the life-cycle of all children, but those who are gender variant, or express same-sex desires are often taunted, abused, and ostracized. This module describes the social services needed to address the families of these children, as well as the services which should be offered to the youth themselves. Compassionate psychotherapeutic services can help them develop ego strengths and healthy self-concepts.
Module 7: Aging Issues in the LGBT Communities
Older LGBT persons may face discrimination based on their age and sexual orientation. Consequently, they may not feel comfortable either in organizations serving older people or in LGBT community organizations, and thus may not receive useful services from either of these groups.
Module 8: HIV and AIDS
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, attacks the CD4+ T cells and reduces one's s ability to fight off infections. AIDS is an acute form of HIV infection. HIV can be passed spread from one person to another during anal, vaginal, and less commonly during oral sex. It can also be spread by sharing needles, tattooing or body piercing it can be passed from a mother with HIV to her baby. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection nor is there a cure.
THE COURSE TOOLS
To better understand the basis for these modules and the course as a whole, you need to be familiar with RAI's Vision and Mission. One of the tools you will use during this program is the links. Links like the one in the first sentence of this paragraph appear throughout the course. When you click on them, a second window opens containing a supplemental document. Always read it, before continuing through the module and if you have any questions, contact your trainer before proceeding.
There are other tools you will use to work with others in the program and with your trainer. An important tool is our Discussion Board. You will be asked to post reactions and comments there and to read the reactions and comments of others in the program. (If you aren't familiar with online Bulletin/Discussion Boards, CLICK HERE to read about how ours works.)
Another tool you will be asked to use is AOL's Instant Messaging system. This is a free program you will need to install before you continue. We will be using it to conduct 'real time' discussions. If you don't have the program you can get it from the AOL/IM Site.
You will also be asked to complete a number of exercises. Here's the first one. It's just for practice, but we would like you to complete it before beginning the first module.
If you are ready to begin the course, send an e-mail to your coach, and in your own words, explain RAI's Mission and Vision, including any thoughts and ideas you might have with regard to the things YOU can do to help us reach these goals. (The link should bring up your mail program already properly addressed. When you finish this introduction, you will be asked to send a message indicating you wish to take the course and that you have sent your membership fee.)
||EXERCISE: RAI's MISSION & VISION