405 ILCS 5/4-211 requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to approve course material in sex education. The factors IDHS must consider in approving the sex education material are set forth is 405 ILCS 5/211 (a)-(i). The Department may not withhold approval of materials that otherwise meet the criteria specified in this Section on the basis that they include or refer to a religious or faith based perspective. The Committee established a process to review and approve the sex education material to assess whether it met the standards outlined in the statute. The IDHS approved the sex education materials listed below. The sex education materials may change to include other materials submitted, evaluated and approved by the Committee. Disclaimer-IDHS has approved a list of all the sex education materials listed on this website. IDHS does not favor one particular set of sex education materials over another nor does their order of appearance in the list constitute any particular favor by IDHS.

Sex Education for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Curriculum Review

Assessment of curriculum strength and whether it meets requirement of Illinois Legislative Committee. Curriculum reviewed by the Illinois Department of Human Services Curriculum Taskforce.  For questions about this review, contact:

Cost: $600.00

For more information about this curriculum, please visit or contact Faith Kelly (

Universal Design & Accessibility Material Adaptable for: Sexual Rights Component Trainer Resources Meets Illinois Legislative Curriculum Requirement
Plain Language    Y Age 16+ years    Y States Sexual Rights   Y Explains Trainer Skills  Y Positive Sexual Identity  Y
Visual Aids  Y Gender  Y How to Advocate Y Useful Handouts  Y Prevention of Pregnancy   Y
Video  Y Culture  Y Healthy Relationships Y Has Lesson Plans  Y STI/STD/HIV/AIDS   Y
Audio  N Language N First Person Language Y Online Safety  Y Condoms    Y
Sign Language  N Religion  N Social Media/Internet Y Abstinence    Y
Braille  N Sexual Orientation  Y Emotional Consequence  Y
Psychological Consequence N
Unwanted Sexual Behavior  Y
Danger/Predator Signs Y


Most handouts require some basic reading level. Visual aids are included in many lessons. There is a website with additional resources, including PowerPoint slides and videos.


This curriculum is designed for small groups of teens and young adults with IDD. The handouts with images show a diversity of gender and culture. Lesson 5 talks about different sexual orientations and gender identities.


Affirms people with disabilities are sexual beings. Each lesson is paired with a community activity where participants can practice skills, including advocacy skills. Lesson 13 includes a Dating Bill of Rights and information about online interactions and relationships.


Training Guide with information on how to recruit participants, use the curriculum, handle disclosures and mandatory reporting, and development your team and support network is included. There are useful handouts, although some minimal reading is a plus for participants. Lesson 13 is on online safety.


Lesson 9 covers self-esteem, communication and dating skills; Lesson 5 covers sexual orientation, gender identity. Lesson 17 on sexual health, includes birth control, abstinence, condoms, and STIs. Lesson 15 on personal safety, includes abuse, coercion, "No means No," inappropriate touch, and about trusted adults. Lesson 19 discusses conflicts and breakup.


The Friendships and Dating Program was developed by the University of Alaska Center for Human Development from 2008 to 2017. On purchase, you receive a Curriculum Manual, Training Guide, and access to online resources and support.  This is the most expensive of the curriculum reviewed, but it is also the only curriculum with research to demonstrate its effectiveness at reducing interpersonal violence.

Another unique aspect of this curriculum is that each lesson is paired with a community activity to help participants generalize the new skills they are learning at the program into other settings, such as the community. This helps reinforce the learning and helps those who learn from activity, not just in classroom settings.

This curriculum is:

  • Developmentally Appropriate: This curriculum is developmentally appropriate for individuals with IDD who have some ability to communicate (words, gestures). If the individual has some minimal reading level it would also help, but not required, although they may need help with some of the handouts.
  • Evidence-based: The curriculum is evidenced-based. Research has shown it is successful in reducing incidents of interpersonal violence and in increasing the size of social network for participants. In addition, this curriculum is respectful of individual's rights and values.