The key to building sexual health in people living with a disability is to communicate openly about rights and responsibilities in relation to private body parts, sexual feelings and behaviours, healthy relationships, respect for boundaries, diversity and the law.
For further reading about aspects of sexual health and disability see Sexual health and people living with a disability.
SHine SA strives to improve access to sexual health and healthy relationships for people living with a disability by building capacity in professionals, support workers and next-of-kin.
A range of SHine SA’s services relevant for people with a disability and their allies are listed below.
Callers seeking support around specific sexuality and disability case issues can expect to be listened to and to receive:
SHine SA aims to provide access to clinical sexual health services for anyone with a disability. Services offered include:
SHine SA clinics are not suitable for ongoing individual education sessions.
When making appointments, please provide all information about any special needs.
Only some clinics have adjustable examination beds. SHine SA has a ‘no lifting’ policy for its staff, so if the client needs assistance transferring to an examination bed, they will need to be accompanied by people who can do this.
A list of hospitals and health centres that offer adjustable beds and lifting equipment is available from the SA Cervix Screening Program:
Tel: 13 15 56
The Centre for Disability Health also provides a Women’s Health Clinic with Pap tests and breast examinations. Tel: 8372 1442
SHine SA offers a limited therapeutic counselling service, provided by professional sexual health counsellors. This service is available to people living with a disability. Counselling is provided for concerns such as:
Note: This service should not be used as a substitute for basic sexual education or assessment of sexual knowledge in people with intellectual disability or other cognitive impairment.
SHine SA’s FRESH Course: Disability Focus prepares workers and students to provide sexual and reproductive health and relationships information to their clients. There is the option to gain recognition in one or two nationally recognised sexual health competencies.
Rules about sex: getting them right is a training module with a CD-based resource which aims to support workers to tailor basic verbal and visual messages about sexual rights and responsibilities to their clients’ needs.
ReFRESH Forums are offered, covering a range of sexual health and relationships topics, and Tailored Training may also be negotiated.
Teachers: A workshop specifically for teachers is offered several times each year. This explores how to apply the curriculum framework to special learning needs and introduces teachers to disability-focused resources.
Clinical services for people living with a disability:
Counselling services for people living with a disability: