The Sexuality and Disability Alliance (SDA) aims to tackle the barriers that people with disabilities experience in relation to sexuality and relationships and be a focal point for support, activism and research. The group is supported by establishment funding from the Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU). As well various speaking and awareness raising activities, SDA continues to focus on research and policy reform in the area of sexual facilitation - the provision of assistance by support workers to people with disabilities, to express their sexuality.
The purpose of this group is to tackle the barriers that people with disabilities experience in relation to sexuality and relationships and to be a focal point for support, activism and research.
Some of these barriers include:
1. Lack of useful, youth friendly, and easy accessible information related to sexuality and relationships for young people with a disability. With a particular need for information that does not ‘medicalise’ a young persons body or experience.
2. Persistent and damaging stereotypes about the sexuality of people with a disability including, for example, the stereotype of asexuality.
3. Lack of confidence and self-esteem for young people with disabilities themselves with respect to sexuality and relationships.
4. A generally common attitude of concern and uncertainty related to sexuality and relationships on the part of many health professionals, parents, carers and sometimes young people with disabilities themselves.
5. Limited privacy/independence from parents and carers (as well as other systemic barriers, such as lack of physical access) which limits opportunities to explore sexuality and relationships.
6. A lack of positive, open and respectful spaces for young people with disabilities to discuss disability and sexuality/relationship issues.
7. A lack of identification of, and action on advocacy issues related to disability, sexuality and relationships.
While the intention is that the group has a majority of young people as its membership base, we recognised the value that key people of all ages can bring to this group. We also feel that the group has the potential to be a leading voice and need the expertise of people like yourself to make this possible.
YDAS is seeking the involvement of people with disabilities, activists and allies like yourself who have shown leadership and commitment to the sexual rights of people with disabilities. After initial support from YDAS, the group will be independent and member-driven and will meet regularly to take action on issues related to disability and sexuality and decide what action they would like to take. The group will also be in a position to take on sponsorship and seek out philanthropic support.
If you would like to be part of the group, please contact Bec on 9267 3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.