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First Ever!

Southwest Alabama’s LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment

Project Update

Survey open through June 30, 2023

On March 5th, the LGBTQ+ Survey Link was posted on our website. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in this research project and submitted a survey on that first day! Because we built questions into the survey to expose possible bot activity and illegitimate survey responses, we know that several of the responses submitted on the first day were not legitimate. 
At the Southwest Alabama Inclusion Project, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of data integrity in all of our operations. We recognize that the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of data are essential to our success and the success of our community.
For more detailed information on the status of the survey and how it is being disseminated, please see this multipage post from our Facebook page.
We are grateful for your partnership and know that this is just a bump in the road that we will overcome together!

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Project Objective

To conduct a highly visible, high-turnout data collection effort focused on LGBTQ+ current and former residents that will inform local NGO program decisions, help to set community actions and priorities, establish goals, and direct future funding allocations.

Data gathered will represent people in 10 counties in Southwest Alabama


Map of counties in Southwest Alabama
Map of counties in Southwest Alabama

The Project Timeline

Needs Assessment_Overall Timeline

Our vision for this assessment is to build on the smaller LGBTQ+ health assessment done by Stephen Young, Phd and Mary B. Smith, MSW, LICSW-PIP in 2019, widening the scope of the assessment (from health to comprehensive needs) and soliciting a wider and more racially and socioeconomically diverse participant population.

Using community-based participatory research, the project’s academic team led by UPenn doctoral candidate Mary Smith is developing our survey tool and seeking IRB approval through the University of South Alabama. Twenty-one community partner organizations are guiding the effort and contributing resources for the study. Dr. Sarah MacCarthy, Sc.D. of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health is serving as a consultant.

Participating on the academic team are Dr. Jenna Pfleeger, Dr. Rebecca Sollie, Dr. Franklin Trimm, Dr. Amy Upton, Dr. Natalie Fox, Shey Thomas-Thorn, MPH, and medical students Taran Carrasco and Alana Fortune. The survey will have tracks for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. A survey for K-12 school teachers and counselors is being considered.

The initial timeline for the project has been revised and as of August 2022, the youth track of the survey is almost complete and ready for focus group testing. It is planned to have the complete survey tool ready by the end of 2022, with data collection continuing through early spring 2023 and results and analysis complete in the summer or fall.

Future Directions for Research

The survey may be adapted in the next phase to include:

  • Family members, friends, or allies of one or more LGBTQ+ persons 
  • K-12 educators or counselors

Corporate Sponsors