Let’s Talk About It
Everyone has a need for connection and intimacy—it’s in our biology. As we grow and change, interest in relationships is part of the natural course of life. Throughout this development, it’s important for everyone to be educated on how to engage in this area of life with safety, respect, and health in mind.
Vulnerability in the Disability Population
More often than not, individuals with disabilities are overlooked when it comes to being taught about sexual topics. But, intimacy is not exclusive. In fact, obstructing this population from sexual education can have horrifying consequences. Did you know that more than 90% of people with developmental disabilities will experience sexual abuse at some point of their lives? Providing everyone with knowledge—despite age or cognitive ability—can help reduce these cases. That’s why we started our new initiative, “Let’s Talk About It.”
Promoting Healthy Connection
Because Covey is devoted to the well-being, growth, and flourishment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, we are advocates for educating this population on healthy relationships, sexual safety, and bodily autonomy. “Let’s Talk About It” creates an opportunity to address these topics in a safe and inclusive environment with qualified instructors.
With the risk of these topics being viewed as uncomfortable or taboo, we believe that these discussions are paramount for people of all cognitive abilities. When provided with this knowledge, individuals are more likely to live independently, retain employment, and foster meaningful relationships. It’s time to empower people with disabilities to build a foundation for the development of healthy decisions!
Education for All
“Let’s Talk About It” is designed for everyone who would benefit from the conversation. During the classes that are held for individuals with disabilities, discussions will include topics pertaining to:
- Informed decisions about one’s own body
- Consent and autonomy
- Preventing abuse
- Sexual safety
- Internet, social media, and communication
- Healthy relationships
- Hygienic habits
- Appropriate behavior in public vs. private
- Advocacy tools
- And more!
Parents and guardians often worry about their loved one’s health and safety as they enter into relationships. Specific workshops will be held for parents of children with disabilities to become more comfortable discussing sexuality with their child by exploring the most effective ways to approach these sensitive topics. Other classes will be conducted for professionals who would like to examine barriers, explore their own attitudes regarding sexuality, and acquire skills in communicating about sexuality one-on-one with individuals with developmental disabilities and their parents or guardians.