People with disabilities often have a hard time finding sexual health information because of myths and discrimination surrounding their sexuality. Some of the myths about people with disabilities, as identified by the Canadian Health Network, are:
- People with disabilities don’t have any sexual needs or feelings at all
- People with physical disabilities aren’t capable of having sex
- People with developmental disabilities can’t understand their sexual feelings and don’t need sexual health information
- People with developmental disabilities have a higher sex drive than people without disabilities and need to be controlled
- Nobody would be attracted to a person with a disability
These myths are prevalent in our society and believed by many caregivers. Caregivers, whether they are parents, siblings, social workers or doctors, often act as information gatekeepers – deciding what information a person with a disability should have based on their discriminatory ideas about the sexuality of people with disabilities. As a result, people with disabilities have a much harder time getting sexuality education and good sexual health information.
The AIDS and Disability Action Program (ADAP) at the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities offers sexual health resources designed specifically for people with disabilities. We have five information booklets on sexual health available free of charge:
- Know About HIV and AIDS
- Know About Safer Sex
- Know About Condoms
- Know About Seniors and HIV
- Know About Communicating with your Doctor
ADAP also sells Condom Educator Kits for $15. Included in the Condom Educator Kits are two instructor’s guides – one for HIV/AIDS prevention for people with disabilities and one for people with developmental disabilities, a wooden demonstrator, condoms, lube and the five information booklets listed above.
If you are interested in any of these resources please contact Claire at 604-875-0188 or toll free at 1-877-232-7400. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.