Workshop offered to help adults with developmental disabilities learn basics of sex-ed
A pair of certified sexual health educators want to help people with developmental disabilities learn the basics and interplay of sexual education, socialization and relationships.
Through Power Up Workshops, Kerri Isham, certified sexual educator, and Chelsea Oaten, certified sexual health educator, will host a series of classes, titled Quality Connections for Adults with Diverse Abilities, that will go over sexual health basics, healthy relationships versus unhealthy relationships, consent and dating. Half of class time will be dedicated to learning, while the other half is dedicated to socializing.
The classes, which run from January until June at Clay Tree Society, are intended to lay groundwork and provide a positive environment for discussion.
“I want adults with diverse abilities to be able to have access to people outside of their family and outside of the caregivers who look after them. Their social bubbles tend to be very small and limited,” said Isham.
She said it would be great if participants felt comfortable enough to start dating because of their workshops, but that it’s not the intended goal of the program.
The goal, Oaten said, is to provide the opportunity to learn and practise through socialization.
“It’s a chance for them to have the lesson and afterwards, kind of stretch their legs around what they just learned – which is that first step of dating, having a conversation and getting to know someone. Dating is not the goal, it’s connections,” she said.
Both facilitators would like to offer the classes twice a year, possibly making adjustments to the program as it develops. They are currently looking for sponsors to help provide refreshments.
The first class will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at 838 Old Victoria Rd. Registration can be done online through www.powerupeducation.com/power-up-live for single or multiple classes.
Staff, caregivers, guardians and parents are asked to use their judgment as to whether attendees will require the presence of a support person throughout the sessions.