The pandemic has highlighted the need for touch and intimacy, particularly among disabled people. Even before the pandemic began, many of us were participating in little or no intimacy or touch because of disability-related social isolation. Many disabled people do not receive any form of sex education. Meanwhile, others receive the limited amount that some public schools provide in the USA. Outside of the USA, the availability of accurate, comprehensive, consent-driven, disability-informed sex education is as nearly nonexistent. It is crucial that folks who teach sex ed to disabled people be ready to go beyond their established curricula. This may mean teaching and guiding disabled folks in everything from: choosing a PCA (personal care attendant) who is sex-positive; to navigating dating apps; to sexual health including reproductive rights; and, to kink accommodations for various disabilities.
Beginning in January 2022, I will be offering twice monthly online workshops and discussions led by a wide range of disabled educators regarding disability and (a)sexuality/relationships/dating (one for educators by educators, one for disabled people). These events will all include CART captioning and ASL interpretation, plus transcription, slides/notes in accessible formatting, and accessible presentations from the educators.
There are a dozen educators already interested in participating. I have a spreadsheet of more than 100 disabled sex educators who focus on disability and sexuality to approach about teaching. I have a mailing list and social media reach of over 4,000 people interested in disability and sexuality.
The audience who needs disability-informed sex education is huge. Just as clearly, their needs are not being met. At the same time, there is a small group of educators capable of relaying disability-informed sex education. I propose to provide the educators the platform to serve the audience in need. I am uniquely placed to bring these two groups together.
What our grantee is saying: "Disability-related sexuality has long been a passion of mine, which is how the Disability and Sexuality Access Network (DASAN) came to be created. Receiving the Awesome Disability grant provides DASAN's project, Pleasurable, with the vital seed money that will allow this project to grow. I'm honored and excited to have been selected."
Funded by Disability (September 2021)