The perceive and feel framework

A welcoming environment feels safe. It is a space where people can find themselves represented and reflected, and where they understand that all people are treated with respect and dignity.

This happens when services consider, and are equitable and accessible to all members of the LGBTQ community, including clients, staff, and volunteers.

Perceive (physical environment and language)

Service users and staff must be able to look around their physical environment and see positive and inclusive symbols, images, and artwork.

Service users and staff must be able to look around and see positive and inclusive brochures and pamphlets that represent their experiences.

Service users and staff must be able to hear positive and inclusive language and be comfortable using positive and inclusive language.

Feel (overall environment, which imparts a sense of safety)

Service users' and employees' gender identities and expressions are acknowledge, affirmed, and respected.

There are visible and verbal reminders that the agency is a safe place.

Accessible and supportive processes are available that allow people to raise issues and concerns, and to feel that they have been acknowledged, and that there will be follow-up.

Service users and staff are aware that communication goes both ways.


  • Put up inclusive posters and stickers
  • Think about the reading materials in waiting rooms and the people who are represented in the reading materials
  • Ensure that inclusive and affirming language is the standard
  • Educate employess and ensure that policies reflect the changes to Ontario's Human Rights Code
  • Ensure forms have a space for legal name and another name (some people do not go by their legal name)
  • Ensure forms reflect only what information needs to be collected