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There has been much controversy about intimacy, realtionships and the extent to which the NDIS will or won't fund. There have been many articles, blog posts, facebook posts and every other kind of social media posts written on the topic.
Participants are not only looking for sexual experiences but also wanting to learn about human relationships, sexuality and sexual health and having an intimate partner as a long term goal.
Recently I was part of a conversation where someone was asking how they could help a young male participant lose their virginity. The conversation around me rallied with no judgement, only sugggestions, options and resources to help. I thought that I would share these.
Organsiations that help with Relationships and Sexual Experiences
Touching Base is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW and was developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face. Touching base have sex workers skilled in providing sexual and intimacy support for people with disability. Find out more.
Youtube Video titled 'Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker's Journey' is a documentary about the people who started Touching Base and what they organisation does.
Disability Trust run some disability get together nights in Wollongong. There is kareoke which is a favourite and lots of friendships are built. Find out more.
Among other Life Choices program, Flagstaff hold a Supper Club on Friday nights where participants are able to develop skills with their peers, including social skills, dining etiquette, transport, and table conversation. Find out more.
Supports people to develop social and friendship skills; as well as relationships and sexuality knowledge and awareness. Find out more.
This organisation was recommended to help learn about private, public behavior and relationships. Learning the difference betwee positive and negative sexual behaviour. Find out more.
Established by Jodi Rodgers after 20 years of working within the education, disability and sexuality fields. Jodi is a qualified sexologist, counsellor and special education teacher. She has worked in Australia and internationally and across the lifespan within early intervention, schools, adult and community settings, in both disability and sexual health organisations. Find out more.
This group was created for anyone interested in breaking down the stigma faced by adults living with a disability for their right to be acknowledged as sexual beings. Sexuality is a natural and very human quality that exists within us all to some extent, to be self determined. Disability and sexuality is a mostly ignored topic as it's considered "too hard" with too many variables and in doing so we are denying the "humanness" in disability, unintentionally further segregating the disabled community. This group is designed for members to share their experiences around this topic to an open and accepting community that we hope to expand and continue to educate those around us (you can post directly to the group or send a private message to be posted on your behalf anonymously).This group will also endeavour to share relevant articles and information and encourage healthy discussions around the subject. Find out more.
Delivers comprehensive sexual health and relationship wellbeing services. Find out more.
Family Planning (State Based)
Understand, explore and engage in the sexual activities of your choosing. Northcott can provide practical and emotional support and have a range of services that can assist you with these needs. Find out more.
Youtube Video: '#gettingsome: Disabled and Sexually Active'
Eva is an author and sex educator focused on sex and disability. She has been in the sex ed field for over 15 years. Find out more.
Sex is a basic human need, yet often people with mobility challenges or physical differences are left out of the conversation, from depictions in popular media to the design of sex toys.
“Sex toys can not only give us pleasure but they are assistive technology just like a cane or a shower chair,” says Eva Sweeney, sex educator and host of “Cripping Up Sex With Eva”.
“They allow us to explore and enjoy our bodies like everybody else. So many times toys are viewed as novelties or optional when they are necessary for many people with disabilities or chronic illness (and without).”
- Queers On Wheels - By Eva Sweeney (Cripping Up Sex with Eva)
- Other recommendations by Eva:
Sex Materials on Specific Disabilities
Living with a disability, chronic illness, or chronic pain doesn’t make a person fundamentally sexually different from anyone. But it can mean that those with disabilities have less access to sex information in general or to resources specific to their disability. Parents and teachers will find the materials below useful in understanding and addressing how a specific disability may affect sexuality and sexuality education.
Sex, Aspergers, and autism.
An extensive list of books, articles, and videos for parents, singles, and couples. From Psychology Today.
Sexuality and relationships: Teenagers with autism spectrum disorder.
Parents can help their child with ASD understand his or her feelings and behave appropriately by giving clear explanations of sex, sexuality and relationships.
How do I teach sexuality to a person with ASD?
This article explores how parents, teachers, and others can deal with the normal, growing hormonal feelings of children on the spectrum and establish behavioral ground-rules.
Cerebral Palsy: Love without barriers.
Why I’m talking about sex and intimacy as a person with cerebral palsy.
Sexuality education for the student with deafblindness | Video.
The topic of this video is Issues in Sexuality and Deafblindness: Modesty, Appropriate Touch, and Menstruation.
Intellectual disability and sexuality.
Talking to children with intellectual disabilities about sex.
Sexuality across the lifespan: Sexuality education for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
Also available in Spanish.
Subtitled “An instructional guide for parents/caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Sexual education resources for children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Here’s a long list of different resources to explore, put together by Respect Ability.
For some with intellectual disabilities, ending abuse starts with sex ed.
People with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate more than 7 times that for people without disabilities. This 2018 article on the subject and the value of sex education comes from NPR.
Sex education for physically, emotionally, and mentally challenged youth.
A 6-pager from Advocates for Youth.
Sex and specific physical disabilities.
How specific physical disabilities can affect a person’s sexuality. Disabilities briefly discussed include: spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, back pain, spina bifida, and neuromuscular disorders.
Spina bifida | Health care for women.
Spina bifida | Men’s health.
Sexuality and sexual function following spinal cord injury| Videos.
11-part video series from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Spinal Cord Injury Model System.
Sexual function for women after spinal cord injury.
Also available in Spanish. From Craig Hospital.
Sexual function for men after spinal cord injury.
Also available in Spanish. From Craig Hospital.
Brain injury and sexual issues.
Maturing sexually as an adolescent with a brain injury | 4-minute video.
Dr. Mariann Young talks about the importance of educating adolescents with TBI about sex when they are ready to hear it and understand that issues of sexuality and intimacy are not black and white. Additional videos about TBI and teens are also available.
If you have any suggestions or information to add, please feel free to comment below.