Transcript for Module 2

Sex Ed Module 2

Audio recording

Length: 1:40:36

SPEAKERS (in order of appearance)

Linda Sandman, Jae Jin Pak, Shirley Paceley.

Videos: In My Voice Video, Cathy Saunders poem, Eddie Harriel, Jr.

Linda Sandman 00:05
Welcome to the second module of the "What's Right about Sex Ed" training series. The topic for this module is sexual rights. We're deeply indebted to the self-advocates who participated in the videos used in this module. This training, and the other modules in the "What's Right about Sex Ed" series are being brought to you by Blue Tower Solutions, Incorporated, and the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. Blue Tower Solutions is a nonprofit organization that works to empower individuals, organizations and systems to create cultures of respect, inclusion, dignity and equality for people with disabilities. The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities mission is to help lead change in Illinois, so all people with developmental disabilities exercise their right to equal opportunity and freedom.

The training series on sex education "What's Right about Sex Ed" contains eight modules. These modules will cover information about the law (module one) and the sexual rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (this module). There will also be information on what are the approved curricula and resources and how you can locate them. Guidance on how to design a sexuality education program at your organization, and how to partner with parents and guardians will also be addressed. Expert speakers from around the state and country including self-advocates will be involved in presenting the information. All trainings will be posted to the Bureau of Quality Management training platform, so they can be viewed as often as needed. If you have questions about this training series, my contact information will be posted at the end of each training module. Please feel free to reach out to me.

Today's training on sexual rights includes four videos and seven handouts. Please make sure to have the handouts available to you when you watch this training module. Today's speakers are Shirley Paceley, Jae Jin Pak, and myself Linda Sandman. Shirley, would you like to introduce yourself?

Shirley Paceley 02:51
Sure. Thank you. Hello, I'm Shirley Paceley and thank you for joining us for this important information. I have a master's degree in clinical psychology. But more importantly, I have worked with people with disabilities for 48 years. Yeah, I'm kind of old. But anyway, I'm a published author, Counselor, international trainer and consultant, and an advocate. I'm a strong believer in the power of education to change lives. And I've co-created and implemented a variety of curricula for people with disabilities, for their family members and for support staff.

Linda Sandman
Thanks, Shirley. And Jae Jin, would you like to introduce yourself?

Jae Jin Pak 03:34
Sure. Thanks. Thanks, Linda. Hi, everybody. My name is Jae Jin Pak. I identify as a person with a couple of disabilities as well as an Asian American immigrant. And I currently am connected with the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute on Disability and Human Development, and the Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance. I've worked for about over 25 years in the areas of gender based violence prevention, cultural competency, and in recent years disability culture and Disability Rights awareness. And as someone who identifies as having disabilities. I'm very grateful for this opportunity. And also, I'm very appreciative of Linda and Shirley for their work in in this, in these areas as well. Thanks.

Linda Sandman 04:26
Thanks, Jae Jin. We're so delighted to have both of you here with us today. As for myself, Linda Sandman, I am a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois and a Co-Director with Blue Tower Solutions. I have over 35 years' experience working with people with disabilities including mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities in clinical roles, and also as part of statewide anti- violence projects as a consultant and trainer. I am bilingual in English and Spanish and bicultural, Mexican American. As my mother was born and raised in Mexico and I have a large extended family there. The BIOS for today's presenters are included as one of the handouts in today's training.

Linda Sandman 05:22
In 2014, the Sexuality and Disability Consortium at UIC's Institute on Disability and Human Development received funding to hold a community forum with self-advocates from Chicago and the surrounding area to spend a day together talking about sexuality, self-advocacy, and sexual rights. Many of the self-advocates agreed to participate in making a video and we'd like to share that with you now.

In My Voice Video 06:07 - 10:05 (Video is captioned)

Linda Sandman 10:25
Self-advocates are asking for access to knowledge about sexuality, and healthy relationships. They're asking for choice, the opportunity to choose who they are in relationship with, and what the relationship will look like. And they speak about barriers they have faced and how they want to have a safe person to talk about sexuality with and be able to ask questions.

Linda Sandman 11:04
We would like for you to take the time now, to complete an activity. There is a handout you will need for this activity called "Handout: Module Two myth activity". Please pause the recording, take out this handout and complete it. If you're taking this training as a group, please complete the activity on your own first, and then take some time to review your answers with each other. (PAUSE)

Linda Sandman 11:40
We will now review the myths and match them to the correct facts from the handout. Myth: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are innocent and should stay that way. They don't need to know about sex. The Fact is: I have a right and a need to know about healthy sexuality, and about sexual abuse and assault. The Myth: if a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities experiences sexual violence, they must have done something to cause it to happen. The Fact: sexual violence is never the survivor's fault. Myth: Because some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a legal guardian. They can't give consent for anything. Fact: I still have the right to speak for myself. Check the laws on it. Myth: If a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities claims to be sexually abused, they are making it up or seeking attention. Fact: If I get up the nerve to tell you I've been hurt sexually, you need to believe me. Myth: A person with intellectual and developmental disabilities is like a child in an adult's body. Fact: I am an adult in all respects, including sexual desires and feelings. And the last one, Myth: If a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities is given information about sex, they will imitate it without understanding it. Fact: I can learn how to be safe, and how to make good decisions.

We hope you enjoyed that activity and that if you did this activity in a group, that you had a chance for some good conversation about the facts, and why sexuality education is so important.

One thing that can make myths enduring is that they contain a kernel of truth. And this myth, the idea that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are innocent or lack experience with romantic or sexual relationships is expanded to describe adults as being like children, but in an adult's body. This line of thinking is then used to justify denying them access to important education, like sexuality education. The facts shown on this slide also help give us the context we need to address this myth when we see it or hear it.

Shirley Paceley 15:00
The facts: adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are adults by age and developmental milestones and want the same goals as other adults. Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities know what they like, and they can indicate their choice about most things. It is the educator's job to make sure the information is understandable to the people they're working with.

Linda Sandman 15:30
Myth: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities need protection and cannot make decisions for themselves. This myth reflects the fact that the rates of sexual violence against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are higher than the rates for people without disabilities. Knowing this, it is not hard to understand why many people are motivated to protect and shield people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from abuse.

Shirley Paceley
The facts: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities do experience sexual violence at higher rates than the general population. Denying them access to sex education actually makes it harder to recognize and respond to sexually dangerous situations. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities want safe and healthy relationships just like the rest of us. Sex education can give them necessary information to make informed choices.

Linda Sandman 16:40
Myth. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities will act out sexually if given sexuality education. This myth addresses a fear that people with IDD will just imitate sexual behavior without understanding it.

Shirley Paceley 17:00
The fact: education does not create behavior. Those sexual feelings are part of the human experience. Sex education provides helpful information so that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can understand their sexual feelings and make informed choices.

Okay, we're going to talk now about sexuality and people with intellectual development disabilities and look at, take a look back and look back at the history. I want to start with a quote: "My body makes me disabled, society makes me handicapped."

There is a long and shameful history of society treating people with disabilities in horrible, horrible ways. For our purposes, we will begin with the eugenics movement which began in America around 1900. And eugenics encouraged - strongly encouraged people that were considered healthy and superior to reproduce, and discouraged and tried to prevent reproduction of anyone who was considered different or inferior. Supporters of the eugenics movement argued that people with developmental disabilities were the cause of many societal problems, and they needed to be removed from society. People in power actually wanted to get rid of people with disabilities. How shameful.

One technique, one tactic of the eugenics movement was forced sterilization and this practice actually began in California, where over 20,000 sterilizations took place of people living in institutions. In total, 33 states allowed for sterilization on anyone - on anyone that lawmakers decided should not have children, the majority of those were people with disabilities. In 1927, the United States Supreme Court ruled that forced sterilization of people with disabilities did not violate their U.S. Constitutional rights. However, thankfully in 1942, this ruling was overturned, but not before thousands of people with disabilities were sterilized without their permission, and sometimes without their knowledge. Even after 1942, there were cases of health care for children being denied unless their parents agreed to having their child sterilized. So there were still ways that doctors and administrators and other people found ways to still continue sterilization of people without true consent.

Physicians and hospital administrators also routinely allowed newborn babies with disabilities to die. People with disabilities were not allowed to marry; they were not allowed to have children.

Shirley Paceley 19:47
During this same time, doctors really advised most families to put their family members with disabilities into institutions. I knew a woman who was put in an Illinois' institution just days after she was born. She left the hospital after being born and went straight to an Illinois' institution. She never met anyone in her biological family. That was not uncommon during that time. And for families who kept their loved ones at home, there were few, if any services available in the community to help them. So, for the most part, institutions were the only public service available. And this way of thinking really continued well into the 1960s. You know, I think it's important to point out that the laws and practices were based on the attitudes of the public and scientific facts of the time. Today, we know that people with disabilities have value and are equal citizens with everyone else. We know that people with disabilities want and need to be involved in and contribute to their communities. We know that people with disabilities can and do learn. As facts change, so do attitudes and laws. But change is way too slow for me and for many, many people in the disability rights movement. As I was working on this, I was reminded of a person who told me in 2008, not that long ago, I asked, "what is your dream for your life?", and he said, "I want to be able to take a nap on Sunday afternoons." You see, where he lives, the doors were locked to the bedrooms every day between certain hours and he was not allowed to nap. If we don't allow people the right to take a nap, it is logical that the bigger rights were also being denied. We can and must do better. You know, we know that when education about bullying and healthy relationships and abuse prevention occur in public schools, when this happens, many students with disabilities are not included - even though they experienced sexual violence at a rate seven times that of people without disabilities. Students with labels like "non-verbal" or "low functioning" are most often denied this important education. Those labels are dangerous. This practice keeps students with disabilities at risk for violence. Prevention education is prevention. We need to educate people.

We all know about racism and sexism and homophobia. But how often do we hear about ableism? Ableism is the discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior, a false belief. According to Kathy O'Connell, sexual ableism wrongly assumes that the presence of a disability implies inferiority in the area of dating, sexuality and relationships. We do not believe that and we hope that that discrimination prejudice caused by ableism, which has been present throughout history, will someday dissolve and disappear. On the next slide we will discuss the progress that has been made so far and changes that are happening in Illinois.

Shirley Paceley 22:55
So looking forward, this is the rights-based approach - thanks in large part to the self-advocacy movement, people with disabilities coming together, demanding their rights in so many different ways, a movement led by people with disabilities, we're moving beyond this shameful history of oppression and labels. Progress has been made, but we have much work left to do.

As you can see on this slide, the rights of people with disabilities are provided in the Constitution, as are the rights of all human beings who live in the United States. Civil Rights include sexual rights. The American Association on Intellectual and Development Disabilities and the Arc of the United States have a Position Statement that provides guidance for best practices related to human sexuality, (excuse me), for agencies that provide services for people with intellectual and development disabilities. This statement includes a few points like this:

  • Sexual rights and needs must be affirmed, defended and respected.
  • Every person has the right to exercise choices regarding sexual expression, social relationships, and having in raising children. The presence of intellectual and development disabilities regardless of severity, does not in itself justify the loss of rights related to sexuality and or parenting.
  • Sexual rights include privacy, confidentiality, and freedom of association.
  • Sexual rights include education, and information to encourage informed decision making, and as we all know,
  • the Right to protection from sexual harassment, physical sexual and emotional abuse.

And this is just a few details from that Position Statement, and you'll be provided a link to that later in this presentation.

The Illinois Mental Health and Development Disabilities Code is really why we're here today and providing this training. It is now required in Illinois that a person admitted to a DD facility and receiving habilitation shalll have access to sex education, related resources and treatment planning that supports their rights to sexual health and healthy sexual practices and to be free from sexual exploitation and abuse.

And Linda is going to cover . . . No, she's not. I got this part. Never mind.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities is the next one. This agreement sets out what countries have to do to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else. Everybody, over 140 countries have ratified this global statement that asserts the value and equality of people with disabilities. Given our long and terrible history, it's exciting to see an international "push" for the human rights of people with disabilities. Now, Linda is going to cover the National Guardianship Standards and then I have a closing comment to make.

Linda Sandman 25:57
Yes, so thank you, Shirley. The National Guardianship Standards is a document developed by the National Guardianship Association, their standards of practice for guardians across the United States. Specifically, standard 10 covers the guardians' duties regarding diversity and personal preferences of the person, and it states: "The Guardian shall acknowledge the person's right to interpersonal relationships and sexual expression. The Guardian shall take steps to ensure that a person's sexual expression is consensual, that the person is not victimized, and that an environment conducive to this expression in privacy is provided."

It goes on to state that "the Guardian shall ensure access to information, accommodations, and shall protect the rights of the person with regard to sexual expression and preference." Guardians can be allies here, folks.

Shirley Paceley 27:09
Yes, and now you will be joining the thousands of others who are doing their part to support the equal rights of people with disabilities. By providing needed education, you are helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be safe, and free, and healthy. Thank you for joining the movement.

Jae Jin Pak 27:34
Thank you, Shirley, and Linda. So, you know, as we've just heard, there, it is important to recognize some of the shameful history and discrimination that people with disabilities have encountered. And it's also important to acknowledge that some of those stigma, stereotypes, discrimination, parallels, experiences in other marginalized communities. And as during the Civil Rights Movement, with the ongoing fight for racial justice, the ongoing fight, for fighting homophobia and the LGBTQ community plus community, in their fight to be seen, and fighting for their rights - those of us in the disability community have an ongoing struggle of fighting for our rights. And through all of those movements, there have been opportunities for community members to come together and share and express what our rights are as human beings as human beings. We all have protections and rights under federal, state, and, as was just mentioned, even in global documentation and policies.

And so, I have the pleasure of going through and just sharing some of the Sexual Rights of People with IDD Statement that was put together by self-advocates from the disability community and allies. And as you'll see, as we just go over these, the rights that we're asking for, that we're demanding, that we're fighting for, are applicable to anybody who wants to explore their gender and sexual identities and have the freedom to do that in healthy ways. So for example, to begin with, you know, people with disabilities have the right to have Body integrity, privacy and personal choice respected, including in the right, to know how to protect oneself, you know, just the simple freedom and the ability to acknowledge our bodies are ours, we own our bodies, we have a say in how what happens to our bodies and, and how to get that information and have be able to choose that and have our bodies respected by others.

Also be, have the right to be free from, from harassment, abuse, assault, and other forms of sexual violence. Just like everybody has the right to be safe, we have the same right. And we demand that same right.

The right to explore, define and define our own sexuality, our sexual orientation to explore our sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual expression, again, having the opportunities and the freedom individually, to explore and learn about what our gender identity is. And with support, and the freedom and the information to find that out for ourselves, as well as our sexual orientation. And the relationships that we want to have.

Along with that is the right to decide whether and when to be sexually active. I think it's important to acknowledge, is that we're demanding the same right that everybody has the freedom to choose, if, when, and how we become sexually active with somebody, okay? In a consenting, safe situation, really sexual relationship or sex, safe situation is that we own that choice. And we have the freedom and the power to make it.

Jae Jin Pak 31:51
And moving on, to some few more, you know, additionally, the right to choose one's own sexual partners, again, having the freedom, the privacy and information for us to decide for ourselves, who we want to date. And having the freedom and the opportunities to approach that person, and to build that relationship in our own way, in our own process, in our own decisions, and doing it together.

Having the right to have safe and pleasurable sexual experiences, safe and pleasurable experiences. In recent years, and for a long time, in our U.S. westernized culture, we have battled with this idea, or this idea that sexuality - it's there's some shame associated, in common mythology or how society generally has talked about it. But it is important to acknowledge sexuality is supposed to be a fun, enjoyable, pleasurable experience in a healthy consenting environment. So the people involved who are consenting and want to be there, they have a right to enjoy it, and have fun with it. And that's the same expectation. That same idea of being enjoyable, pleasurable is what we in the disability community want out of that, out of a sexual relationship or dating relationship, as well.

Also, we have, people with disabilities have the right to decide whether when and whom to marry, and have a committed relationship with. Many of us in the disability community, you know, as part of being humans, of wanting to have relationships and connection and closeness - many of us want to have a lifelong partner, a spouse, a husband, a wife, someone to marry. And if those, but unfortunately, some of us who want to get married and find a partner - there are still struggles and policies that prohibit that or greatly limit that. And it's important, just like it parallels and in recent years with the LGBTQ community has fought long and hard for marriage equality in the LGBT community and have recently succeeded. All we want in the disability community is to have the ability and the respect to be seen as adults who want to get married and share life together. And not be - you're restricted by certain laws or policies. And we're, again fighting for that simple acknowledgement.

Also, those of us in the disability community have the right to decide whether and when and by what means to have children. Just because people with disabilities have a disability doesn't make them bad parents by nature of the disability. People with disabilities can become amazing parents. Some people with disabilities don't want to have children and everything in between. We are a diverse community with a full range of expectations and desires regarding family and parenthood, just like any other community. And all we want, and all we fight for, and all we are demanding, is to be seen as adults who have the ability, given the supports and information that are in ways that we can understand and process and communicate, to give, to be seen as the dignity and the respect of making that choice for ourselves, just like anybody else.

Jae Jin Pak 35:58
Okay. And moving on to the last couple of, a few other final rights that we're wanting, is the right to have readily available, and equal access to education and information about sex and safe relationships. Shirley, and Linda shared, you know, some information and some policies that mandate access to education, and to those of us in the disability community, as people with disabilities, grow up into adolescence and into adulthood, with adult interests, and adult ideas, part of adult relationships for many of us, just like with any other adult community, is intimacy and sexual relationships and exploring those sexual relationships. And all we want, as adults with disabilities, is to be seen and respected as adults. And as such, have the opportunities to have the same type of access to comprehensive accurate information around sexuality, and contraception and reproductive health and services like any other community. So again, we can learn about it, and make our own informed decisions based on what we learn for ourselves, just like any other, any other adult has the right to do.

Jae Jin Pak 37:37
And moving on. Again, along with that idea, again, is the idea that we have, we receive that education and information and services, that those resources are provided in a way that is, you know, that is objective, accurate, free from discrimination free from interpretation, that we have the ability to access that information. The only adaptation is, it is done in a way that is appropriate to meet our accommodation needs, whether that be large print, plain language, ASL interpretation, using other forms of adaptive systems, that's the only type of accommodation or adapt - adaptation we would like, is to make it accessible for us in terms of the content, the information, not to omit anything, not to minimize any of the content, but just help us get fair and equal access to learn it.

And finally, last couple things, is that people with disabilities have the right to have the highest, the highest attainable standard of sexual health, just the same level and the same high standard of accuracy, comprehensive sex that is available to anybody else. We want that same high standard of accuracy and information. Okay, just because we have a disability doesn't mean that the information needs to be minimized or reduced in any way. It just means that some of the, some of the again, adaptations are for accommodation purposes only.

We also have the right to have an effective remedy for violations of our rights. We have rights, again, to explore our sexuality to learn about it, to pursue our relationships in consenting ways. If and when our rights are violated, we want to have the right to address those violations in accessible, meaningful ways, that is, you know, easy for us to access, that is efficient, and not complicated. Again, just like any other adult, whose rights are violated, has been informed what their process is to file a grievance, to file a complaint, to file the report of violation. We want that information for us as well, because we have a right to, when we are hurt, when our rights are violated. we as human beings, have the right to pursue justice and hold people accountable for those actions as well.

Okay. Next, so as we kind of wind down, I, you know, I've shared a lot of these, these, the Statement of Sexual Rights, that, again, self-advocates had come together to put together and, this kind of like, standard version, as well as a plain language version is available on our, the DHS Department of Human Services website and working group website that you're welcome to download and review and use as a resource in, as you support the folks that you work with. And now I have the great pleasure of turning this back to Linda to introduce a wonderful poem.

Linda Sandman 41:36
Yes, thank you, Jae Jin. And thank you for such a careful review of the Sexual Rights Statement produced by the work group that has been working on helping to support the implementation of the law. So we want to share with you now, let's see if I can get this to work. Yes, yay, a poem.

So people with disabilities are sexual beings. They have needs and often require support. We now want to share a poem with you, written by Cathy Lynn Saunders. Cathy is a self-advocate leader here in Illinois and across the country. This poem, "Protect My Imperfections", is part of a collection of poems from her book: My name is Cathy Lynn, a love letter from me to you. At the end of the video, Cathy will provide a brief explanation about why she wrote this poem. Let's watch.

Cathy Saunders (video) 42:42
Person first language spoken fluently, gender

ethnicity cross-culturally defined within the

realm of disability all these attributes, a

unique part of me.

As a woman I am comfortable in my

definition of femininity.

Beautiful, sensual, titillating; free to be me, in

whatever way I express myself, the partner

within my relationships, inspires and excites


Flames of deep passion ignite my soul.

Communication of friendship, love, and

laughter, keeps me healthy, and complete.

Self-reliance - in defiance!

The mind in me, completely free, to play!

Not defined but transformed by intellectual



If you hear the message, I have to say

Deaf - Mute Culture - CHANGE THE WORLD!!!

Never underestimate; but empower me.


It took me 10 years of being a mentor before I came to understand my disability as something positive and my imperfections as something positive.

Linda Sandman 45:01
As Cathy says, we need to see people with disabilities as fully human, imperfections and all - just like we all have our own imperfections. We need to recognize that disability can be a strength, and that people with disabilities can educate us about what they need, and how we can best support them.

This brings us to the next section of this training, balancing safety and rights. Many find this to be one of the most challenging aspects of providing sexuality education to individuals with disabilities. But it is important work and requires thoughtful consideration on how that balance is handled.

For a starting point, we recognize there is a great deal of language in the law, Public Act 101-0506 about protection and safety. In order to give some context for understanding the importance of this dynamic, this balance between safety and rights, let's look at this quote from Katherine MC Laughlin, a sexuality educator and founder of Elevatus Training. "Protection from exploitation must be balanced against the right to sexual expression, with an emphasis on building a person's capacity to give informed consent."

Like most balancing acts, tipping too far in any direction can lead to problems. Our history has shown a strong bias towards over protection. Yet people with disabilities are not asking us, as providers and allies, to step aside or to turn the other way. They are asking for us to participate with them. In seeking out information that is true, accurate, helpful and accessible. They are asking for support and making opportunities for social engagement and relationships possible.

Linda Sandman 47:40
We're going to turn our attention now on how you can incorporate a sexual rights perspective into the sexuality education you provide. We want to give you some specific examples drawn from the resources and approved curriculum that are found on the Department of Human Services website: Sex Education Curriculum, for use by providers. On this slide, we have listed two of the sexual rights from the sexual rights statement that Jae Jin reviewed:

  • The right to have body integrity, privacy and personal choice respected, including the right to know how to protect oneself,
  • The right to be free from sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and other forms of sexual violence.

We're going to keep those two examples of sexual rights together with some examples from two of the approved curricula. The Family Life and Sexual Health Special Education Curriculum that was developed by King County in Washington State, specifically Lesson 14 and the Illinois Imagines Sexual Violence Education Guide, Picture Supplement Module 4B, specifically Lesson five.

Linda Sandman 49:00
One way that's always helpful for thinking about ways to incorporate sexual rights into teaching sexuality education is to provide a scenario. So this example, loosely matches a real story from my work with an adult with an intellectual disability. We'll call him Carlos. Carlos lived in a group home and was referred for counseling because he had a habit of hugging people, sometimes even coming up behind them and wrapping them up in a big hug. Maybe you have worked with someone like Carlos. Here's the scenario. Carlos has always been friendly and talkative. He will tell you about his activities and ideas, whether you are interested or not. You've noticed that when he is excited, he hugs people. You're concerned, someone might take advantage of him.

Linda Sandman 50:00
In a situation like this, you would work with your treatment team, as described in the law. The treatment team will include Carlos, professionals who have knowledge of Carlos - this could be the direct service provider, his direct service staff, his case manager, or maybe the Q, maybe his Individual Service Support Agency caseworker, maybe a counselor or behavior analyst. If Carlos has a legal guardian, the treatment team will include his guardian. Your plan will include an assessment.

First, you need to think about what type of education is needed? Well, we think that, in this example, Carlos needs to learn about touch and boundaries and consent, including respect for his rights and for the rights of others.

Next, we will want to gather the resources that we can use to support our education plan, we will need to determine what materials we can use to teach these skills. What are the specific steps that we will take and who will be able to help us with our plan. This may include involving others who are not already part of the treatment team. For example, a member of Carlos' family might be involved, or an outside consultant.

And then we need to figure out how to engage Carlos in the plan. Of course, having Carlos participate in making the plan is helpful. And then we will want to evaluate the progress.

The Family Life and Sexual Health (FLASH) Special Education Curriculum was developed by the public health department of Seattle and King County, in Washington State. It was written between the years of 2005 and 2013. Some lesson plans include PowerPoint, most of them have handouts. The comprehensive materials were specifically designed for students in special education, high school and transition services. There are a number of additional resources provided on the website, including an appendix with an assessment tool, resources on recognizing and reporting sexual abuse and assault, and a letter for families.

For this scenario, we're going to look at lesson 14, which is titled "Exploitation, Day one: Touching." There is a handout of lesson 14 of the FLASH curriculum that is included as a resource for this training, for today's training. On this slide, we have listed the four learning objectives of lesson 14.

You should be able to identify three different types of touch,

Correctly label different examples of a type of touch,

Identify the kinds of relationships in which touch is appropriate/Okay, and

Declare the right to decide how they want to be touched.

As you can see, learning objective four states that individuals will be able to declare the right to decide how they want to be touched. This right matches well with many of the rights listed in the Sexual Rights Statement.

You can pause the recording now to look at your handout of the Sexual Rights Statement to see which Rights align with learning objective four. (PAUSE)

Linda Sandman 53:43
For our purposes, we can say that learning objective four specifically relates to the Right to know how to protect oneself, and the Right to be free from sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and other forms of sexual violence.

Our goal is to help Carlos learn about touch, boundaries and consent, including respect for his rights and for the rights of others.

In lesson 14 of the FLASH curriculum, two options are suggested to help people with disabilities learn about different types of touch. One suggestion is to use traffic lights, since many are familiar with the idea that Green light means go. Yellow means caution, and Red means stop. In this lesson, the Green light indicates fair or safe touch. The Yellow indicates caution and the Red light indicates Never fair or never safe touch.

Another option suggested in the curriculum is to use emojis with the happy face to indicate fair or safe touch, an uncertain face to indicate caution, and a sad or unhappy face to indicate never fair or never safe touch. Using symbols like these are a great way to increase the accessibility of the teaching. Pairing images with words and examples ensures you will be able to reach more people and give people with disabilities multiple pathways to access the learning.

Linda Sandman 54:14
In Lesson 14 of the FLASH curriculum, an activity is suggested to help individuals relate more directly to the examples of safe, cautious and unsafe touch. The lesson suggests having individuals just brainstorm different types of touch, without even categorizing them at first, just put up as many examples as they can name on a whiteboard or a piece of paper. And then, to add to the list, the curriculum provides some additional actions that you can supplement. Eleven of these additional actions are listed on the slide as dot points like shaking hands kissing, slap, punch, rape, no touch.

Once you have your list, you work together to decide what kind of touch is involved, for example, is shaking hands a green light, a yellow light or a red light? This type of activity can lend itself to many great conversations. As you can imagine, not all individuals with disabilities will agree about all of these actions. And it can depend on the relationships and the situation too. Kissing might be a green light for a couple who are dating, but for others, it could be a red light. Some actions are never safe, like rape/forced sex.

The FLASH lesson suggests you put a large X through the touching behaviors that are never safe. I think you can see how such an activity could lead to a great deal of discussion and include real life examples.

One accommodation to improve accessibility for this lesson is to use pictures for the different types of touching behaviors. On the approved resource list from the Department of Human Services webpage on Sex Education, there is a book listed called "Teaching Children with Down syndrome about their bodies, boundaries and sexuality." Chapter Four of that book is all about touch and affection. And in the appendix section of the book, there is a handout with pictures showing different forms of affection, including many of these examples which you could use those images for this activity, if you wanted. This is a great example of how you can combine an approved curriculum and an approved resource from the Department of Human Services web page to strengthen the sex education lesson.

Linda Sandman 58:04
Lesson 14 contains many pointers about incorporating the individual's own right to determine what kind of touch they are comfortable with. For example, the curriculum suggests this wording: "Different people feel differently about what type of touching is okay or not okay for them. We all have our own set of rules about personal touch." It goes on to say "different types of touching are appropriate in connection with different types of relationships. Many people disagree about touch. It's important to think about your own feelings and beliefs about types of touching. Talk about them with a safe person, a family member or a trusted adult friend."

This message is underscored in a letter that accompanies the lesson and it can be used for communicating what the points of the lesson are to that trusted adult, for example, maybe a family member. The letter talks about the individual's touching rights: Never to be touched in a sexual or an affectionate way without your permission. Never to be touched in a violent way. Never to be touched in an exploitive way.

At the end of the lesson, it repeats this message by stating "Different people feel differently about what type of touching is okay or not okay for them. We all have our own set of rules about personal touch."

It goes on to recommend a conversation about assertiveness, and that there are assertive ways to prevent unfair touch and to remind individuals, they should always remember they have the power to say "No". And finally, it recommends having individuals state altogether, at the end of the lesson, affirmations:

I am special. I deserve fair, safe touch. My body belongs to me.

Shirley Paceley 1:00:13
Okay, now we're going to talk about the Illinois Imagines Picture Supplement Curriculum, which was developed in 2013 by the Illinois Imagines statewide team, as part of a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women to address sexual assault against women and other, well, people, really with disabilities.

The curriculum was designed to be used with adults, versus the FLASH, which was really designed for, as part of the special ed curriculum. But they both have valuable things for adults. The original curriculum was designed to be used with women with disabilities and the Sexual Violence Education Guide was developed in 2010. And then we heard from folks across the state that they needed more pictures and more hands-on activities. So that's when we developed the Picture Supplement Guide. So it's probably, in many cases, most useful for people with intellectual and development disabilities. The curriculum includes general guidelines, teaching tips and strategies, an introduction and ongoing sessions and lesson plans. There's a total of 19 sessions altogether, that cover four categories: Healthy Relationships, Healthy Sexuality, Sexual Violence Risk Reduction and Safety and Support, How to get Help.

There are a number of additional resources provided on the Illinois Imagines website. And it should be noted that this curriculum is free. It's no cost and available online, although I know many agencies in the state have hard copies of this curriculum. For this slide, we'll be looking at Lesson five within the Healthy Relationships section, which includes ways to say "No", and then we'll look at a different section on Safe and Unsafe Touch. So moving forward, no, no, just a minute. No, this is fine. I'm sorry.

Shirley Paceley 1:02:04
So "Ways to Say No" - you do have a handout that has, that goes with this "Ways to Say No." And it just is a way to practice with the individuals affirmations, if they can say in different varieties to say no. A lot of people have been trained to never say no, to be compliant, or they'll get in trouble or they'll get punished or they'll lose some of their rights, which is not really legal, but it happens. So we really want people to get very comfortable and say "No" in ways that are comfortable for them. I tell people in classes, sometimes we say no nicely. And sometimes we say no, loudly and boldly, right? depends on the situation. And each situation is different. And many of us, many of us, folks, people, human beings, have trouble saying "No". So this is really an important lesson for people to practice. I know, when I first began teaching people how to say no, it was good for me, I learned just as much as the folks I was working with. As Jae Jin said, our bodies are our bodies, they are ours. Right? My body, My choice. And that's one of our rights within the Sex Ed Rights and the Sexuality Rights.

Say No, and making choices is really a human right. And Cathy mentioned, "free to be me." And part of that is being able to say "no" and "yes" to touch. So on the next slide, we'll get into this a little bit more.

Shirley Paceley 1:03:22
So in the Illinois Imagines Picture Supplement Guide, this is the Safe and Unsafe Touch picture. Um, it's supposed to be red and green. I think it's a little bit off colored, because it's supposed to match up with those big traffic signs. And I had to say that because everybody says, "Is that supposed to be red and green?" Yes, it's supposed to be green. So make it your own and do it how it works for you.

So in this lesson, the color green means a touch that is safe. And the color red means a touch that is unsafe, right? And this can be taught in a variety of ways depending on the learners or the person that you're working with.

Examples are given and the participants really can decide if the example is safe or unsafe. So here's some of the examples that are used in the lesson:

  • A friend dares me to pinch the bus driver's butt
  • My boyfriend asks to hold hands while we're at the movies.
  • The person sitting next to me on the bus puts their hand up my dress.

So, those are some of the examples. Your handout shows all of the examples in the handout, but we won't go through all of those. I think the most engaging way to really work through the examples is to have the participants line up at the back of the room or on one side of the room and one side of the room is red or unsafe. The other side of the room is green or go, it's safe.

Then, when you read an example, people can move towards the red or towards the green. In the curriculum, they talk about having people move forward, if it's a green or go, you know, this is something I would say, Yes, let's do this, this is okay, and move backwards or away from the example where it is not safe.

It's kind of engaging when people can move, I think one of the accommodations that we frequently forget about in teaching, is people that learn best when their body's involved, the kinesthetic learners. So just, not just listening or looking at pictures or hearing things, but also being able to move and engage your body is something that many people with disabilities really benefit from.

Shirley Paceley 1:05:25
So we'll move on to the next slide. And every lesson in the Illinois Imagines has main points in them. For that lesson, at the end of the lesson, there's main points. And I think this is a really good strategy for teaching. Because when we review what we've learned, it just tells us to remember it better. Affirmations have been mentioned today. And I think those are really good. So I'm going to read each of the main points for the touching rights through Illinois Imagines, but I'm going to leave some space after I say them, so that you as you're listening to this, you can say the same thing. So you're going to repeat after me as you're listening to the video. And I'll leave you time to do that. You can do it to yourself, if you're not comfortable saying it out loud, or you can say it out loud. This just strengthens that you have these Rights too.

Shirley Paceley 1:06:15
I listen to my feelings.

I can say "no", if it feels unsafe.

I can say "yes", if it feels safe.

All of us have the right to our feelings. Our feelings are valid. Nobody can, people will try to tell you, you shouldn't feel that way or it's okay, you're really not hurt. We have a right to our feelings. That's included in our Sexual Rights and our Rights to gender identity and our Rights to our culture. We can say yes or no. And those are Rights. So it's, I think, it's fairly simple to incorporate sexuality rights when we're teaching people about touch, and about relationships. We have so many rights within that context. So remember, as you're teaching these, the curriculum that your agency chooses, to remember to incorporate:

You have the right to say no, if someone touches you and you don't want them to.

You have the right to say yes.

You have the right to feel whatever you feel.

We all have those rights, and they're so important in the quality of our life. Thank you.

Linda Sandman 1:07:28
Thank you Shirley! On this slide, you can see two of the sexual rights statements that we've been talking about in this training session. I'd like to say, take some time to talk about the meaning of the term "body integrity" from the Sexual Rights Statement.

Body integrity can be defined as being able to move freely from place to place, being able to be secure from violation and assault, including sexual assault. Body integrity also involves having opportunities for sexual satisfaction, and for choice in matters of reproduction. Privacy is also included as a part of body integrity. It is a term that emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. In the field of human rights, violation of body integrity of another is regarded as unethical and an intrusion of the other person's rights.

Keep these Sexual Rights Statements in mind, as you hear from Eddie, a self-advocate who has some important wisdom to share about sexual rights.

Eddie (video) 1:09:03
Ok, my name is Eddie Harriel, Jr., I am 27 years old. I also have a developmental disability and I'm also part of the LGBTQ community. And I also have mental illness - depression and I also have, I have diabetes, too, also. But I also am an openly gay person, openly gay man.

Well, I feel I am part of the LGBTQ community because, you know, it is what I am. You know, I learned so much about it, me being a gay person, that's who I am. So, know how to be respectful, know how to be attitude, how to be a success, you know, to love myself, so, I'm glad I'm also to be part of the LGBTQ community, and the developmental disabilities - so, it's a great life.

Narrator 1:10:07
The Right to explore and define one's own sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual expression without judgment, or discrimination.

Eddie 1:10:24
I feel like everybody, I feel like normal people have the right, I feel like people with disabilities and the LGBTQ people also have the rights. Because we are also, we also have the right to talk, we have the right to be in relationships, just like the normal people. So I feel people with disabilities also have the rights.

Narrator 1:10:43
The Right to decide whether and when to be sexually active. The Right to choose one's own sexual partners, and have privacy and dignity related to dating and sexual intimacy. The Right to have safe and pleasurable sexual experiences.

Eddie 1:11:10
I feel adults with developmental disabilities also have the rights of who they want to be with and when they want to have sex with, it's all about their choices. I feel like staff respect their rights, like I'm sure, staff have their rights, too, when they want to get married, too, or their sexual rights, or who they want to have sex with. So all in all, you know, it's to respect each individual's rights.

Providers, just let your special person or child, or person you serve, let them find out who they are. Because if you keep - if you don't let them find out about their sexuality, they acting up in a not great way through - acting up, have sexual things, not really getting themselves in something, you know, HIV, or stuff like that, and having sex, if staff don't support them, they going to do other things to get what they want, so staff need to support them.

Narrator 1:12:18
The Right to have readily available and equal access to education and information about sex, safe, healthy sexual relationships, and reproductive health. The right to receive that education, information, services and resources in a way that is free from discrimination recognizes and supports one's own choices and interests and promote trauma informed practices.

Eddie 1:12:59
Um, well, I wish I had had a lot about myself. I wish I had a lot of education about myself about how to become a man, a lot of things, and about other people, too. And so it would help me be a better sexual person, and know about myself and how to pleasure others, you know, so . . . .

Linda Sandman 1:13:25
Well, I wish we had more time to hear from Eddie. He has a lot to say. And those last words just keep ringing in my ear, where he said, "I wish we had, I had a lot more education. I wish I'd had a lot more education."

I forgot to do the introduction that I wanted to do before starting the video, so I'll do it now. I want to tell you that I got to know Edie when he worked as an ambassador for the Proud and Included Project, sponsored by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities in 2017 and 2018. Eddie lives in a group home and attends a day program in the south suburbs of Chicago. In this first picture that you see on the slide, it's from 2017. Eddie is dancing at a party sponsored by the Arts of Life, React Presents and Rebirth Garments. In the second photo, Eddie is at his group home, just this past month, in June 2021. When I went to interview him for this video, he dressed up for the occasion and told me, "It's Pride Month." I love that. Eddie is proud of who he is. And he wants you to respect that. And to respect his right to choose how he lives his life, and how he expresses his sexuality. I've titled this video by Eddie, "It's a great life", which is what he says as he introduces himself as a person who is a member of the LGBTQ community and developmental disability community. Thanks, Eddie.

Jae Jin Pak 1:15:20
Thanks, Linda. And I tack on my appreciation and gratitude to Eddie for sharing his wisdom and his, his experiences. And yeah, he looks fantastic. As we now move on, you know, we've been talking about balancing safety and rights. And, as you've, as you've kind of probably hinted at, and recognized, it is important to remember rights, and using the rights and protecting the rights of those individuals with disabilities, to explore healthy sexual expressions and their gender identities, while giving them information and resources to reduce risk, and doing it in a way that is safe and healthy. In your role as providers who support individuals with disabilities, we want to share some information, some ideas, and some, some strategies in how you can start building a program, or refining your program on sexual, sexuality information. And, you know, first of all, as you can see on the slide, some of these things are, many of these things you probably already are incorporating in your practice. And this is just a gentle reminder, that when we're talking about supporting sexual exploration, and gender identity, exploration, and dating, relationship exploration for people with disabilities, that a lot of what you already, a lot of the principles and philosophies and ideas around supporting people with disabilities also are inclusive of sexuality and gender identity.

So you know, the ideas of affirming choice, of providing education, of supporting decision making, I am confident and I am positive you already are doing - and in incorporating these philosophies in your service, to serve, supporting individuals with disabilities, affirming their choices, and helping them and empowering them to make decisions for themselves, giving them the tools, the language, the information. And part of that information is through providing education, giving them information about different services, options, whether it's housing, recreation, services, transportation, and now you can include sexuality information, and relationship information. And through that information, you're helping them, helping individual with disabilities, empower themselves to make informed, educated decisions for themselves, based on their own personal ideas, values, and cultural histories, and cultural values. And all of that, again, goes out to the idea of supporting decision making with information, with empowerment of choice, and giving them the options to freely choose based on the information, you're helping them, to support making positive decisions for themselves. Again, the idea of supporting self-advocacy, and building a person's ability to make informed decisions with consent, as we talked about, is really key and keeping the idea of letting them know that they have the right to choose "yes" or "no" is also important in relationships, regarding relationships or sexuality as well.

Jae Jin Pak 1:19:05
Great. So already so as I was saying - you know, we've shared some insights. Now I want to turn to some, some tips and some practical ideas that you could implement. So to begin with, you know, the idea of involving self-advocates in creating your sexuality program, or if you already have one too, as you re-evaluate it or update it. And the idea of involving self-advocates is, as you're developing your team to create it, and plan it, and put it all together, is to invite and include self-advocates to be part of that team, not as consumers, but as equal partners to share expertise and insights, self-advocates, their expertise is their lived experience, and information on what is the best way to adapt information.

And for accommodation reasons, as well as also information and insights on how to roll out the program in terms of class size, scheduling times of day, that is going to be most effective and receptive to people in the disability community. So again, the idea is invite them to be part of the planning team, as equal partners of that team, to build that curriculum, or to revise your curriculum together. So that's one activity.

Jae Jin Pak 1:20:36
The second suggestion or idea is, again, it's something that I'm sure you're already doing in your practice in supporting self-advocates, is to teach about self-advocacy, and sexual education in sexual advocacy. In your sexuality education program, you're, you know, I'm sure, you're already empowering people to be, to self-advocate, to speak up, and to ask questions, and to know what and to express and communicate their rights and choices. It's just a matter of expanding those ideas, to be inclusive of sexuality and information, questions, conversations, and the Sexual Rights Statements that we shared, to share that with self-advocates, and empower them. Let them know, you know, and reassure them and communicate that these rights are part of their life as people, human beings who have a disability. They still have a right to pursue sexuality and gender identity exploration. And to, to include that kind of positive, empowering message in line with the other empowering and positive messages that you're, I'm sure, you're already doing in your programming.

Jae Jin Pak 1:21:58
And thirdly, the idea is to, again, involve self-advocates in teaching and in providing feedback about how to improve your sexuality education program, or to also get feedback on how it's going. So once you created the program, and you're implementing it, is to create opportunities to get meaningful feedback. And that could be for example, scheduling listening sessions with small groups of self-advocates who've taken the, who participated in your program, and asking them to share all their feedback - what was, what was positive, what was challenging what wasn't so working so well.

Also be open to creating these opportunities in different formats. It could be in small group conversations, it could be on one-on-one conversations. It could also mean creating a survey, a written survey, or an online survey, depending on how self-advocates are equipped to receive information, but creating this type of, these types of feedback mechanisms, that is accessible to the self-advocates and people that you're supporting. So they can give meaningful feedback, too. So as things go on, you figure out and learn from your participants, what's working, and you can build and enhance on that and just learn, objectively, what may not be working, so you can again, change that and adapt to improve on an ongoing basis. Again, I'm sure you're already implementing some of these ideas in other classes or educational programs you're doing. It's just a matter of adapting that and expanding that to include sexuality and relationship information as well.

And now I want to turn it over to Shirley, who is going to give you some information on some examples, and again, the idea of partnering with self-advocates.

Shirley Paceley 1:24:12
Thank you, Jae Jin. And I think that whole concept of partnering is so important. And I wanted to just share one experience that I had. That was astonishing, really, I was just shocked. Between 2000 and 2004, I led a project in Illinois and several counties called "We Can Stop Abuse." And it was designed to create, implement and evaluate a sexual abuse prevention curriculum for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During the second year, a few people who had taken the classes during the first year were co-training, we're trained to be co-trainers of the curriculum. We collected data on all of the class participants over a three year period. And the peer trainers exceeded our expectations for remembering the information and also using the information that was taught. In fact, 100% of the peer trainers used four of the seven behavioral indicators of success in their natural environment!

And four was the cut off to say that they remember they were using this, it was based on a small sample we did with people without disabilities, and four was about the average number of scores that folks, you know, who'd had education and lots of lived experiences got. So that was our criteria.

100%, 100%! Actually we had the data counted three more times, because I thought there "That can't be true. It's never 100%." But it made sense, because we know what we teach. And that concept of equal power and partnership, I think really elevated the experience for people. So as sex education is implemented across Illinois, it's one of our hopes, is that some of you will find ways to incorporate training for people that have really liked the classes and want to be teachers, as co-trainers, as you continue to roll out the Sex Ed curriculum. We really hope that that happens. So that's all thank you.

Linda Sandman 1:26:14
And I do want to jump in and add that the curriculum Shirley just referenced, We Can Stop Abuse, if you're lucky enough to have a copy of that, because it's now out of print, is one of the seven approved curricula for sex education that is on our Department of Human Services webpage about Sex Education Curricula.

So thank you, Shirley, for bringing up about We Can Stop Abuse.

That's a bonus for all of you because we were talking about two of the other curricula that are approved and now you also got to hear about We Can Stop Abuse.

Linda Sandman 1:26:50
So centering our work on the voices of self-advocates has so much value, as you've been hearing. We want to share another video with you now. This is another approved curriculum resource. It was a curriculum developed by the National Council on Independent Living. The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) developed a series of 10 videos about sex education made by and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The videos are designed to help people with intellectual developmental disabilities learn about their bodies sex and sexual identity, gender, healthy relationships, consent, pregnancy, and protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. The 10 videos of the NCIL series can be watched in any order. They're all captioned, and they include diverse self-advocate presenters. The information is presented in a straightforward and factual way. Individuals can incorporate their personal, cultural and or religious values to the information. We're going to show you the introduction video that addresses many of the same myths we already talked about at the beginning of this presentation you're watching now. Let's listen.

Video: Sex Ed for People with IDD - Introduction 1:28:30

Narrator: Sex Ed for people with IDD. Welcome.

Speaker 1: Why do we have to make a video about sex ed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

Speaker 2: When the other kids had sex education, I had to go somewhere else.

Speaker 3: Other kids got to learn about birth control and condoms and how to be parents, and all anyone ever told me was "Don't have sex!"

Speaker 4: My parents had a big discussion about sex with my sister, who doesn't have a disability. But when I was growing up, nobody said anything to me.

Speaker 5: There are a lot of myths of sexuality and people with disabilities.

Speaker 1: Some people feel people with disabilities aren't sexual, and that we don't need sex education at all.

Speaker 2: But that's not true.

Speaker 3: People also say people with disabilities are too sexual or hyper sexual. If they start talking to us about sex, we're just gonna go right out and start having sex all over the place.

Speaker 4: That's not true either.

Speaker 5: Other folks think people with IDD don't have the same variety of sexual and gender identity.

Speaker 1: We do, and we shouldn't ignore that.

Speaker 2: These myths are how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media.

Speaker 3: So welcome to our sex ed video for and by people with IDD.

Speaker 4: It has different parts. You can skip around. You can watch from beginning to end. It's up to you.

Narrator: Produced by the National Council on Independent Living and Rooted in Rights, with support from the WITH Foundation.

Linda Sandman 1:30:09
So I want to apologize to you because I pulled up the version of that video that did not have the captions. But if you go to the link, you can pull up the version that does have captions. It's worth watching again, don't you agree?

A sexual rights perspective is integral to sex education. Sexual rights ensures that we are listening to self-advocates, that we are respecting their dignity and individuality, that we recognize they can make informed choices and have the right to information and opportunities to express their identity, sexuality and engage in relationships of their choosing.

Linda Sandman 1:31:02
To conclude our webinar today, we want to direct you to these resources. The Sexual Rights Statement and Easier to Understand Sexual Rights Statement are available as handouts to this training module. And they can also be found as a link on the IDHS (Department of Human Services) Sex Education Curriculum web page, that is the link posted here on this slide.

On that webpage, you can also find information and reviews of the approved curriculum that we've been talking about today, the FLASH curriculum, the Illinois Imagines curriculum, the We Can Stop Abuse curriculum, and the one from the National Council on Independent Living, as well as some others. The joint position statement on sexuality from the Arc of the US and the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is available at the second link you see here on this slide. And the National Guardianship Association Standards of Practice is available at the third link on this slide.

We would also like to recommend this article to you. Although it is not currently posted on the Department of Human Services web page as one of the approved resources, we are recommending that it be added. This article is titled "Consent = Empowerment: Making Sure Everyone Can Exercise their Right to Choose or Refuse Sex." The article was written actually as a blog by Kecia Weller, a self-advocate and Leigh Ann Davis, the Director for Criminal Justice Initiatives at the Arc.

The topic of consent is an important right for all people. people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are too often denied important information in order to make informed choices as Kecia states in the article, "Consent is a very empowering thing for people with disabilities."

We hope you have enjoyed this training module on sexual rights. Please be sure to check out the handouts and feel free to watch this module again, perhaps as a group with others from your organization. Coming up in the "What's Right about Sex Ed" training series, we will be focusing on how to be a sexuality educator. This topic will have two parts. As a reminder, it is not necessary to watch these modules in order and you may watch a module as many times as you like. My contact information is posted here on this slide. I've also included the contact information for Cynthia Schierl-Spreen, the Bureau Chief from the Bureau of Quality Management. Please feel free to reach out to either of us if you have questions about this training module, or the "What's Right about Sex Ed" training series.

We want to give a big thank you. Hugs, hugs, hugs to Shirley Paceley, Jae Jin Pak, Cathy Saunders and Eddie Harriel, Jr. for their participation in this training webinar. Thank you so much, and have a great day.