Q: I have been listening to the NPR series, Abused and Betrayed, which talks about how people with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a much higher rate — seven times higher — than people without disabilities. The last episode pointed out that sexual education is recognized as a critical step toward preventing abuse. Does The Arc have any sexual education resources available for parents or agencies that support people with disabilities?
A: Yes! The Arc Minnesota has two resources available. First we have, Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, a sexual education curriculum that was developed by a group of self advocates and an expert in the field on sexuality and developmental disabilities, Katherine McLaughlin, M. Ed. The curriculum is very accessible and makes teaching the classes simple. The lessons are structured for self-advocates with disabilities to co-teach with disability service professionals cooperatively as a team, which is an approach we support. The Arc Minnesota has provided a series of classes over the past two years and we also support agencies to lead classes to groups of self advocates. This sexual education curriculum can also be purchased at a discounted price for agencies that are looking for resources to lead their own sexuality education classes for those they support. We can also provide training to agency staff on how to use the curriculum. Another resource we have available is a free online course for parents. The course offers tips and strategies for having these discussions with their child, of any age, with a disability. This online resource was also created by Katherine McLaughlin and Disability Workshops. You can contact The Arc Minnesota directly to learn more about either of these resources at 952-920-0855 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org