Recognizing that the barriers to adequate treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals and family members are formidable and often limit or completely restrict their access to quality care, Rainbow Access Initiative (RAI) was developed in 2000 to address the unmet training needs of health and human service providers in areas and issues affecting LGBT people and their families. Prior to this there were no LGBT training programs for health and human service providers in the Capital District.
Through a series of grants from the New York State Department of Health, as a project of the Council of Community Services, RAI set out to address this need and has maintained its vision of eliminating barriers between health and human service providers and the disenfranchised communities of LGBT people. Scores of providers have been trained and consumers educated, especially those of the commonly under-served populations.
In 2001, Arlene ("Ari") Istar Lev, our first Project Director, wrote the original proposal for the program and led the early efforts to develop our curriculum. An Advisory Board, representing a diverse membership from the Capital District LGBT community was formed. You can read a review of the accomplishments of RAI by selecting the year: