Sexuality and disability: perspectives from Australia, Taiwan and the UK
People with disabilities may have common descriptions, experiences of and potential challenges to sexuality despite the diversity among disabilities. Following attendance and engagement, participants to this webinar will have:
- Raised their awareness of the sexuality of people with disabilities
- Explored common facilitators/barriers to people with disabilities navigating sexual relationships and accessing sexual services worldwide
- Shared reflections on how to challenge assumptions and change perceptions about the sexuality of people with disabilities
Participants are strongly encouraged to watch the following documentaries in advance of attending the webinar, to enhance their understandings of context-specific dynamics of sexuality and disability:
- Trailer of ‘Scarlet Road’ (Australia, 2011)
- ‘Open your mind to what goes on behind closed doors’ (TED x Bunbury, 2016)
- The Story of Hand Angels and Volunteers (2018, Taiwan)
- The charity helping disabled people with sex - BBC News
The webinar is organised by the Sexual and Reproductive Health Group at the Department of Public Health, Environments and Society, supported by the International Centre for Evidence in Disability and chaired by Professor Tom Shakespeare.
- Ms Rachel Wotton, Australia
Rachel Wotton is a migrant sex worker, living and working throughout Australia and overseas, for over two decades. She is a founding member of Touching Base, which brings people with disability and sex workers together to advocate for the rights for both marginalised communities. In 2011 Rachel was featured in an Australian documentary, Scarlet Road, which outlined her work with clients with disability and the work of Touching Base Inc. Rachel was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2016 and is a current PhD Candidate at School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia.
- Ms Aven Huang, Chairperson, Taiwan Hand Angels Organisation
Aven has been volunteering in multiple disability associations for more than twenty years. Expertise in policy advocacy for disability human rights. She is also concentrating on pursuing sexual rights of disabled females after joining in Taiwan Hand Angels Organization in 2016. Currently she studies in National Taipei University as a graduate school student, majoring in sociology and focusing on cultural studies of disability.
- Ms Yi-Jing Lee, volunteer, Taiwan Hand Angels Organisation
Jing is a graduate student of Gender/Sexuality Studies in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies program. Jing is also a part-time sex coach, full-time activist.
- Ms Natasha Cox, UK
Natasha grew up as an overly capable and able-bodied, young woman and became disabled aged 15, which led to an intense 9 month stay in hospital and rehab, relearning how to do everything. She now have a Masters in Gender, Sexuality and Society which has enabled her to research Women with disabilities in particular, with a focus on intersectionality. She is passionate about creating a platform that highlights the needs for representation, as individuals with disabilities.
- Ms Nicole Stoute, UK
Nicole is a mother of one and a creative, a qualified drama applied theatre and education practitioner from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her career has been in arts coordination, drama facilitation, storytelling, and creative writing. She is one of the co-authors of the Provision of Psychological Support to People in Intensive Care (POPPI) Research Study where she worked with UCL Hospital as a patient advisor and trainer having recovered from a coma. Nicole is a passionate advocate for universal change, the deconstruction and realignment of current systems that perpetuate discrimination and prejudice.