Enhance the UK were really privileged to be asked to do a talk at the V & A museum about all things sex and disability recently. The talk by our CEO Jennie and trainer Emily was really well received and lots of people stayed to speak to us after the event. As always after this type of event I left buzzing and to be honest, still am, BUT on reflection isn’t it sad that we need to be even talking and campaigning about sex and disability?

Personally I find the taboo that surrounds this subject so bizarre.  Surely it stands to reason that just because someone is disabled it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be sexual beings?  Yet somehow disabled people are often treated as asexual and little thought is made regarding our sexual needs. By sexual needs I do not mean the provision of sex workers.  Don’t get me wrong I think that should be an option, but not the only option.

In this day and age, inclusive relationships and sex education shouldn’t be a rarity, it should be standard – a given – but this simply isn’t the case. When disabled adults are being made to sleep in single beds in care homes and are not able to have a private life this isn’t acceptable.  I could go on but actually for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Undressing Disability campaign it’s worth you watching our short video Undressing Disability.  There are many complex issues which need to be addressed but I sincerely hope that one day there won’t be a need for a charity like Enhance the UK – even if it means I’ll need to find a new job!

About The Author

Claire has worked with Deaf children for a number of years, initially as an Educational Communicator and then as a teacher. She recently moved into working in the community to support Deaf adults as a Community Support Worker. She is chairperson of Bedfordshire Deaf Children’s Society and secretary for Luton Deaf Football Club. She has also provided Deaf Awareness training to various organisations. Claire has her level 2 British Sign Language Certificate although she has been signing from a young age as she is deaf herself. Initially Claire was a hearing aid user but after losing her residual hearing several years ago she has had a Cochlear Implant. Claire is often accompanied to work by her hearing dog Ivy.

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