People with disabilities often have different experiences of sexuality and relationships.
Societal attitudes have failed to acknowledge that people with a disability are sexual beings and have the same rights to sexual expression, education and health as people without a disability. People with disabilities have traditionally not had access to sexuality information and may also have differing needs for sexuality education and information.
Individuals with a disability are people with sexual feelings, needs and identities. As individuals, people with a disability have the fundamental right to have privacy; to love and be loved; develop friendships and emotional relationships; learn about sex, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, safe sex and other issues regarding sexuality; exercise their rights and responsibilities in regard to privacy and sexual expression and the rights of others; marry and make informed decisions concerning having children; and develop expressions of sexuality reflective of age, social development, cultural values and social responsibility.
SHFPACT aims to support positive sexual health and reproductive health choices for people with disabilities by strengthen preventative approaches.
SHFPACT’s Schools Disability Program provides students in ACT Public Schools with a range of skills to enable them to better manage their relationships and interactions with others, especially their peers. Students can be supported individually, in small groups or within their integrated class. This program can be offered to non-ACT Public School students on a fee-for-service basis.
SHFPACT encourages a partnership approach which invites parents, carers and/or workers to be involved, so that new knowledge can be reinforced in the home and school environment. The program supports teachers & STAs by providing professional development opportunities, curriculum support and access to resources and tools designed to educate young people with disabilities in areas of sexual and reproductive health.
The new Family, Friends and Lovers program will be a train-the-worker capacity building training program. Topics include feeling good about yourself, body awareness, rules about touching, friendships and moving into relationships, sexual identity, internet safety and staying safe in relationships. Registrations are essential.
SoSAFE! is a set of visual and conceptual tools (including training) designed to teach social safety to people with moderate to severe intellectual disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Support for Parents & Carers
SHFPACT’s Library & Resource Centre has a range of books, videos and pamphlets for parents and/or carers of children with special needs; as well as educational kits, DVDs and Lesson Plans to support quality education in areas of sexual and reproductive health for people with a disability. Membership & Loan fees may apply.
Carer & Disability Worker Accredited Training
SHFPACT’s accredited three day Introduction to Sexuality & Disability Course is designed to allow workers to support and engage people with disabilities in their daily lives and provides positive strategies for appropriate behaviours, and aims to increase knowledge, skills and practice when addressing sexuality and sexual & reproductive health issues for people with a disability. Course fees apply.