Trans Health Information Ottawa (THIO) is a grassroots initiative run by transgender and gender diverse (TGD) volunteers from Ottawa and surrounding counties (“Champlain Region”). We envision Ottawa as a city where both the individual and collective wellbeing of trans and gender diverse people are valued and within reach. THIO’s purpose is to ensure that health and social resources in Ottawa are affirming, responsive to our communities’ needs, and are designed and delivered by TGD people. Our current priorities are to:
- Build awareness and momentum for collective action on TGD health issues in Ottawa and surrounding counties;
- Provide information on local health care resources in Ottawa and surrounding counties (e.g. community reviews of providers; peer navigation of health system);
- Develop local capacity for primary and specialist care for TGD people in Ottawa and surrounding counties.
The challenge we face and bring to RHOK is how to connect community members throughout the Champlain Region to one another and to reliable information on health and social resources. THIO currently uses free online tools to share and collect critical information on where trans-knowledgable healthcare and social supports can be found. This information is difficult to locate and not readily available from most providers. These tools need to be re-thought and re-designed if they are going to be findable, usable and accessible, especially for people who are isolated or in crisis.