PRIDE Month Spotlight: Luna Community Care
Luna Community Care: Supporting Neurodivergent & LGBTQ+
Luna Community Care is a non-profit organization that provides a safe and inclusive space for individuals who identify as neurodivergent. Founded in 2020 by community health worker Tara Boulais and licensed mental health counselor Casey Gallagher, Luna is the first disabled workers cooperative in the United States, owned and operated by disabled individuals.
The primary focus of Luna Community Care is to promote disability justice and equity while improving the quality of life for neurodivergent adults. The organization recognizes and embraces the concept of neurodiversity, which emphasizes the acceptance of different ways of thinking, acting, and communicating. Luna aims to create a community where individuals who feel that the outside world wasn’t built for them can find support and understanding. They also center their programming and events around LGBTQIAA2S+ individuals, recognizing the intersectionality between neurodivergence and the LGBTQIAA2S+ communities.
The organization welcomes individuals with various neurodivergent conditions, including but not limited to autism, ADHD, learning and sensory processing differences, cerebral palsy, seizures, PTSD, schizophrenia, anxiety, personality disorders, and madness. Luna encourages a neuro-affirming approach, which means accepting and understanding diverse neurological experiences without requiring individuals to prove or disclose their diagnoses.
“Our organization does not force members or visitors to disclose or “prove” their diagnosis, and there are no requirements or criteria to get involved with LUNA, other than a shared commitment to understand, acknowledge and accept your peers in a neuro-affirming way.”
At Luna, peer support is at the heart of their services. They offer drop-in peer support, peer groups, special interest clubs, and community events where individuals can connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges. These programs provide a sense of belonging, validation, and understanding.
In addition to peer support, Luna Community Care also offers consultations and training for individuals and grassroots businesses seeking to improve their understanding of neurodivergence and promote disability inclusion in their lives and workplaces. By providing education and resources, Luna aims to promote a shift in the culture, attitudes, and acceptance of neurodivergent and disabled individuals in the wider community.
Neurodivergence affects approximately 1 in 7 people according to the CDC, highlighting the need for organizations like Luna Community Care. The societal norms based on neurotypical standards can create difficulties and identity issues for neurodivergent individuals. Luna aims to address these challenges by providing a supportive community and promoting a better understanding of neurodivergent experiences.
Luna Community Care is a trailblazing non-profit organization that prioritizes disability justice and provides a safe and inclusive space for neurodivergent individuals. Through their peer support programs, consultation services, and commitment to promoting acceptance and understanding, Luna strives to improve the lives of neurodivergent adults and foster a culture of inclusivity and equity.