Here is what you can expect from the next session – this is Emily’s guest blog.
“Hi! I’m Emily Yates, a 29-year-old, pink-haired wheelchair user with an accent that just seems to be getting stronger, the further away from my hometown I move. I work for Enhance the UK, a user-led disability awareness charity. Our core team is made up of a bunch of strong, brilliant and beautiful women I wish I’d had in my phonebook when I was 15, and laying in bed at night terrified about how I would navigate sex and relationships as a disabled person.
On the 6th November, I’ll be telling you more about my experiences of dating and relationships and talking through what we do at Enhance the UK, but here’s a little taster before I see you at the next Let’s Talk About Sex event!
Enhance the UK provides disability awareness training, British Sign Language workshops and accessibility audits to businesses and organisations all over the UK and further afield. As a user-led charity, all of our trainers have impairments themselves. As well as training, we focus on the sexual rights and responsibilities of disabled people. Disabled women are three times as likely as their non-disabled peers to be sexually abused, and sex education in schools is still far from inclusive.
We set up the ‘Undressing Disability’ campaign to support disabled people in having romantic lives that are both safe and fulfilling, and we do this by providing free resources, giving talks at relevant conferences and events, and running our Love Lounge, a Q&A forum that encourages disabled people and their loved ones to write in (anonymously, if they wish) with any questions surrounding love, sex, dating and relationships. We call ourselves the ‘non-expert sexperts’ and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find someone that does!
Until we are all able to have safe, fun and fulfilling romantic relationships, there’s plenty for us to be getting on with.
There is still a ‘fear factor’ that surrounds disabled people in general. In the workplace, in the media, in education, but particularly when it comes to relationships. People aren’t fearful because they don’t mean well, they’re fearful because, often, they have next to no experience with disability, and just don’t know what the right things to say and do are. Take that to the bedroom, and there’s so many worries around pain, positions, disabled partners being fragile etc – it’s understandably a lot for non-disabled people to think about! And that’s why campaigns around the education and awareness of this issue are so, so important.
Yes, we want to give disabled people the knowledge, confidence and comfort to safely take control of their sex lives, but we also want to help change the attitudes and outlooks of non-disabled people, at the same time.
If you’re a disabled person, there’s no shame in wanting sex and thoroughly enjoying it. Celebrate your body for its capabilities as well as its limitations and remember that, if other people don’t appreciate your attractiveness due to your impairment it’s absolutely their mindset that needs to change, and not yours.
And, should you be interested in hearing more about us and the work we do, visit www.enhancetheuk.org, email us at email@example.com, or search for #UndressingDisability to find us on social – we’re always up for a chat!“
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about Emily and her work at Enhance The UK. Join us for great chats in a safe and non-judgmental space where you will be able to share your thoughts on everything connected with sexuality and disability!
This event is open for get2gether members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.