Resource Corner – Disability & Sexuality

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Tennessee Disability Pathfinder offers a growing library of disability and sexuality resources available at TNPathfinder.org.

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Disability & Sexuality, a sensitive subject that often gets overlooked, which can lead to a lack of understanding, information, and support for individuals with disabilities. Pathfinder aims to share resources on the intersectionality between disability and sexuality.

Click on our Disability & Sexuality Resources Guide to access all the agencies that are on our website.

For more information on agencies that provide support visit TNPatfinder.org.

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Light purple background image with a wood grain board center of image with text "Sex Health Education for Young People with Disabilities A Parent's Guide." The words sex education are spelled out in Scrabble tiles.
Sexual health education provides the opportunity to practice skills and communicate to be more successful in navigating and responding to social and sexual situations appropriately. Young people with disabilities who are provided this information are given the opportunity for empowerment and increasing their self-esteem.

Some parents may believe that talking about sexuality may cause problems, but, providing sexual health education provides information and opportunities to assist any youth—regardless of their ability—to develop life skills. Here’s a resource guide Sexual Health Education for Young People with Disabilities – Research and Resources for Parents/Guardians from Advocates for Youth, an organization that works alongside thousands of young people in the U.S. and around the globe as they fight for sexual health, rights, and justice.

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Colorful image with a large yellow center. Text " Rights and Respect (Proud and Supported Series)

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month! If you are LGBTQIA+, you deserve to be treated with respect by everyone in your life — including the people who support you. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has created a guide for LGBTQIA+ autistic people called Rights and Respect! This guide will help you figure out what to do if a support worker doesn’t respect you and your rights.

The guide answer questions like:

  • What are my legal rights?
  • Why is fighting for our rights important?
  • What does it look like when a support worker respects me?
  • What can I do if my support worker isn’t respecting me?
  • And more!

The toolkit is available in two versions:

An Easy Read edition, which uses pictures along with large text, and has more white space. Click here to download the Easy Read version of “Rights and Respect.”

A Plain Language version without accompanying graphics. Click here to download the Plain Language version of “Rights and Respect.”

This is the second toolkit in the ASAN Proud and Supported series. You can check out the first, Definitions and Beyond, here!

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Image of a young girl to the right in front and text to the left in a orange box that says "Talk About Sexual Violence."

Did you know that people with IDD are sexually assaulted at seven times the rate of people without disabilities? How can we tackle this urgent problem?

Health care professionals are in a frontline position to educate their patients about – and potentially stop or prevent- sexual violence and abuse, but they often have little or no experience talking about this issue with people who have IDD. People with IDD are also unlikely to raise the topic on their own and may not know what constitutes sexual violence or how to describe it.

Talk About Sexual Violence project, funded by the WITH Foundation and created in partnership with the Board Resource Center, aims to help.

Medical providers can view short video trainings and conversation guides on plain language, supported decision-making, and other important topics that will help them provide better care to patients with IDD. And people with disabilities can read a plain language guide on how to feel safe and heard by their doctors if they want or need to bring up sexual safety or report abuse.

People with disabilities deserve equitable health care and to be supported when navigating adult topics like sex. Join us in stopping this silent epidemic. Learn more at Talk About Sexual Violence (thearc.org).

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Lightly faded background photo image of a person holding a cellphone looking at the screen. Prominent on the image to the right is a large circular photo on a purple, orange and pink circle of Mary Romano, MD, MPH. To the top right of the photo is a small circular photo of Host Sheena Adams-Avery. Both photos are on top of a large colorful circle. Text to the left of images, "Tuesday Talk with Tennessee Disability Pathfinder (Pathfinder's branded graphic) Disability & Sexuality." Instagram Live button is at top right of image and the Instagram logo is at bottom left of image with @TNPathfinder.

In case you missed it, here’s the link to our latest Tuesday Talk with Tennessee Disability Pathfinder!

We sat down with Dr. Mary Romano, MD, MPH, Adolescent and Young Adult Health expert at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, to chat about Disability & Sexuality. This programming was in efforts to provide resource information to assist individuals with disabilities, parents, caregivers, and support individuals concerning this topic.

Click here to view Tuesday Talk: Disability & Sexuality.