Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Sex and relationships involving disabled people are not often spoken about and very rarely portrayed in the media, and when they are it is often in a negative light. The reasons for this campaign are two-fold. Firstly, we want to give disabled people a platform to share their experiences, the good and the bad, and to reflect on these. We also want to deliver an “ignored curriculum” - sex education outside of the classroom taught by peers, friends and family, referring to lived experiences and utilising language used by these groups. This will offer an opposing view to non-disabled, hypersexualised people and disabled asexual/non-existent sexuality as is prominent in both the media and in sex education programmes. We believe it will be particularly valuable to young people, who may be inexperienced and new to sex and relationships, to have access to this information and to help them engage with Equal Lives as an organisation.
In the upcoming months, expect to see social media posts and infographics related to this campaign – as well as opportunities for you to get involved! This isn’t our podcast, it’s yours, so we need to know what you’d like to be discussed, who you’d like to listen to and what issues are most important for us to cover. There will also be opportunities for our service users to be guests on the podcast, so keep an eye out for further information on that.
As a result of this project, we want disabled people to feel more comfortable having sex and relationships, and for non-disabled individuals to understand some of the issues, concerns and adversity that disabled people face in this sphere. We want to educate people on healthy and fulfilling sex and relationships, in particular young people who are beginning to explore this side of themselves. We’re so excited to start this project and both entertain and educate our audience.
Please complete our survey and help us build the foundations of this campaign with your voices at the heart of it.
Elizabeth K. Schmidt, Natalie Robek, Megan Dougherty, Brittany N. Hand, Susan Havercamp, Carolyn Sommerich, Lindy Weaver, Amy Darragh. (2021) Recommendations to Improve Accessibility of Sexuality Education for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities: A Qualitative Study. American Journal of Sexuality Education 16:1, pages 38-56.
Margaret Campbell, Charlotta Löfgren-Mårtenson & Alan Santinele Martino (2020) Cripping Sex Education, Sex Education, 20:4, 361-365, DOI: 10.1080/14681811.2020.1749470