University of Edinburgh

Batteries not Included - an exploration of issues in sex education and sexuality for people with multiple disabilities

Why are we interested in this topic?

  • A number of people who had real gaps in their knowledge
  • People who found themselves in very vulnerable situations
  • People who engaged in harmful behaviours
  • People missing out on full exploration of their potential lives

Where did this take us?

  • For people with residual vision, in many respects we were offering a reasonable curriculum
  • We were reactive in the main, offering personal and social development after specific issues had arisen (eg; young man with inappropriate behaviour in lifts, young woman with confused self-identity relating to her age etc).
  • Real issues beginning to emerge in respect of people with no residual vision in terms of accessing materials; issues also around the use of ‘hands-on support’.

What we are doing at present?

  • Development of a resource pack for people with multiple disabilities – joint project with fpa Scotland, Common Knowledge.
  • However, there are still real gaps in our understanding and there are still some issues that we need to fully explore and as the project with fpa moves forward, we are becoming increasingly aware of a number of ethical, moral and legal dilemmas and that is what we are going to explore later today.