PPO has heard from the Ottawa community that a program on the topic of Disability and sexuality is in high demand. Through various other programs (our Outreach Program, our Education Program, Our Options Program, various summer programs, and placement students) we have attempted to incorporate a better understanding of ableism within accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
While our organizations has attempted to provide pro-choice, sex-positive education and counselling to folks with disabilities, we have identified that working with people with intellectual and development disabilities requires the ability of staff to adapt materials and workshops with more accessibility in mind.
(For example, if we teach consent to people with physical disabilities, adapting that work might be as simple as ensuring that mobility needs are taken into full consideration such as being mindful if an exercise has moving or providing a note taker or alternative formats for texts based materials. However, when working with people with some intellectual disabilities, unpacking the nuances of body language and slang language to negotiate consent can take more time.) We have had a number of wonderful staff and students who have laid the groundwork for a successful project of this nature, but have yet to establish consistent funding for this work.
If you would like to discuss potential funding opportunities for this work, please contact our executive director here.