Natasha MilnerEducation Coordinator, Disability, True Relationships & Reproductive Health
Changing Attitudes: Comprehensive Relationships & Sexuality Education (CRSE) for Students with a Disability.
Students with disability are often viewed as overly sexual or conversely as asexual. Often it is assumed that students with special needs do not need to access a comprehensive relationships & sexuality education program (CRSE). If access to CRSE is acknowledged, there is often a belief that these programs should be restricted to topics such as public and private and personal safety while evading topics such as sexual attraction, pleasure, STI prevention, and pornography.
The reality is that special needs students typically develop at the same rate as their peers. They grow up to have relationships, be sexually active, and often to be parents. Without factual and accessible education during developing years, students with disability are more likely to experience poor sexual health outcomes such as unplanned pregnancy and STI’s. They are also more likely to be exploited, sexually abused, and experience domestic violence. There is substantial evidence showing poorer mental health and educational outcomes for LGBTIQ+ students who are not provided with inclusive education in schools. This presentation will bust myths about disability and sexuality while highlighting where in the curriculum sexuality education topics sit. How these topics can be modelled on the curriculum and accessible for special needs students will be explored.
Natasha Milner is the Education Coordinator, Disability at (True) True Relationships & Reproductive Health (formerly known as Family Planning Queensland). She has provided information and facilitated education to schools and communities about relationships, reproductive health and sexuality since 2011. Natasha has also facilitated both accredited and non-accredited training to staff who work in schools and community organisations and to parents/carers. Natasha regularly teaches relationships and sexuality topics in primary and secondary schools in special education and mainstream classes. Natasha is an advocate for all people being able to access information on how bodies work, healthy relationships, and sexuality.