In recent years, important changes in public policies and attitudes have resulted in improved opportunities for people with physical and mental disabilities. Now, people living with disabilities assume their rightful place in society as the equals of non-disabled people. Unfortunately, societal attitudes have changed less in regard to sexuality and disability. Even today, many people refuse to acknowledge that all people have sexual feelings, needs, and desires, regardless of their physical and/or mental abilities. As a result, many young people who live with disabilities do not receive sex education, either in school or at home.
But individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities are at a high risk of exploitation and abuse. They may lack the social and cognitive skills to negotiate sexual relationships. They deserve information and access to services to protect their health and safety. Read on to learn more.