Sex Education For People With Disabilities

Sex education for people with disabilities is important as it confronts issues around consent, healthy relationships, abuse, violence and vulnerability of people with disabilities.

A sex and relationship course designed by and for women with disabilities

It isn’t compulsory for sex education for people with disabilities to be taught at school level. Sex education trainer Shailaja Menon said she wasn’t taught much about healthy relationships or sex at school:

“But I think it’s very important to make that a general form of education”

Meredith Lea, PWDA senior policy officer said it was difficult to say how many others lack sex education but that Ms Menon aren’t the only isolated cases of exclusion.

Ms Lea said after speaking to many people with disabilities:

“We’ve spoken to people with disability about the fact that they were excluded from sex and relationships education in school settings, either because they were physically excluded from that class, or it might be that they had an intellectual disability and they were seen to not require that education for their lives”

The sex education for people with disabilities course was designed in conjunction with People with Disability Australia (PWDA), who have trained eight New South Wales women as educators to run the courses.

“Often times people with disability are seen as asexual or childlike, which isn’t the case”

As Chloe Kearns aged 17, who is a mentor at Wollongong put it, it is often an;

“Ignored curriculum”

She also said:

“A lot of my peers in mainstream education get taught about domestic violence, abuse, safe relationships and how to have a healthy lifestyle in a relationship and a good sex education, unlike me in a support unit”

Kearns went on to say that all they get is life skills training that is barely enough.

“I think sexuality should be a normal thing in our lives, because other people get that, like my peers”

Ms Menon said she would’ve liked her school sex education to have been more informative and acknowledges her ability to teach other woman with intellectual disabilities and such is a beautiful privilege.

“I can’t do anything about the past and can only focus on the future”


Africans with disabilities – disabled Africans