Module 3 - Presenter Bios

Module 3 How to be a Sexuality Educator: Qualities of a Sexuality Educator

Presenter Bios

Katherine McLaughlin, M.Ed., AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator, is the Founder, CEO and Lead Trainer for Elevatus Training. As a national expert on sexuality and I/DD she trains professionals, and parents as well as individuals to become sexual self-advocates, and sexuality educators themselves. She is the author of, Sexuality Education for People with Developmental Disabilities curriculum. She has developed two online courses: Developmental Disability and Sexuality 101 for professionals and Talking to Your Kids: Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality for parents, and a 3-Day certificate training: Becoming a Sexuality Educator and Trainer. Not only does she have professional experience with disability, she also has lived experience as a wheelchair user. She has spent her 25+ year career committed to elevating the status of all people, which is why the name of her growing company is Elevatus "Elevate US" Training.

Tia Nelis has been a self-advocate leader for over 30 years, helping to found SABE (Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered), the national self-advocacy organization among many other accomplishments. She currently is the Coordinator, of the Self-Advocate Engagement at TASH. Tia has pushed for more access to sexuality education and opportunities to explore relationships for people with disabilities for many years.

Linda Sandman, MSW, LCSW has 35 years of clinical experience working with adults with disabilities, including mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Currently, Linda is a Co-Director of Blue Tower Solutions, Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering individuals, organizations and systems to create cultures of respect, inclusion, dignity and equality for people with disabilities. She is an experienced trainer and consultant to agencies and organizations working with people with disabilities.

Sexuality education and promoting access for people with disabilities has been the major focus of Linda's work over the past 15 years. As a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Disability and Human Development, Linda played an instrumental role in ground-breaking research on the sexual self-advocacy of people with ID/DD. She also supervised sex education groups at the UIC Family Clinics for 10 years, serving adults with IDD from 17 community agencies and schools in the Chicagoland area. Linda is bilingual (Spanish/English) and bicultural and deeply committed to promoting diversity and empowerment for all. She is a member of the Sex Ed Implementation Oversight Committee and was the co-chair of the Curriculum Committee.