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Jul 10, 2024

Would you ban this?

News Sexuality and Relationship Education

NDIS Minister Shorten’s recent comments suggesting a ban on sex work under the NDIS, and the subsequent public discussion about this, oversimplify the sexuality and relationships experiences of people with disabilities to mere access to sex workers. This portrayal does not capture the full breadth of their experiences—it barely scratches the surface. 

How we support NDIS participants

•  A teenager with a disability needs educational resources that not only teach them about consent like their peers but also address how their disability might affect their understanding and experience of relationships. 

•  Counselling and support are critical for individuals with disability whose only experience of sex has been through sexual assault, helping them heal and regain control over their bodies and relationships. 

•  Imagine a middle-aged woman who has acquired a physical disability, seeking guidance on how to maintain a loving, intimate relationship with her partner amidst newfound challenges. 

•  For a person with an intellectual disability, navigating emerging sexual feelings is daunting when their only interactions are through clinical, formal supports rather than genuine social experiences. 

•  Picture a man with a physical disability living in a group home, longing to invite his intimate partner over, but reliant on the support of staff who work in the house to make it happen. 

Closing gaps in education for people with disability

We are working with the Department of Communities and Justice on a major grant program looking at how disability support workers need to be trained and equipped to support people with disability safely, to reduce the shockingly high rates of sexual violence. 

Sexuality and Relationship Education: an essential service

Amanda Damian, Clinical Lead Counsellor at Northcott says she is concerned that more services will be targeted simply because they deal with sex. 

I am deeply concerned that this could mark the beginning of a process aimed at selectively excluding other essential services within the extensive range of sexuality and relationship supports offered under the NDIS

Amanda Damian, Clinical Lead Counsellor

Amanda says that the issue is really about a lack of clarity within the operations of the NDIS.  

“Instead of opting for bans on crucial services, our focus should be on establishing a comprehensive Sexuality and Relationships Policy within the NDIA that covers all provided services, including sex work. This approach will ensure clarity and certainty for individuals accessing these supports, mirroring the standards upheld for any other reasonable and necessary NDIS provisions.” 

Accessibility and Inclusivity

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