“Going Upstream” is a public health term used to describe what’s causing the issues that we see in our schools and our communities. When we look upstream we find a surprising lack of state mandated requirements or laws for people with disabilities to receive sexuality education. No wonder we see high rates of sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, charged with a sex crime, losing ones job, and loneliness in this population. This group of people are experiencing these results in part because they lack basic sexuality education knowledge and skills.
What if our states required positive, inclusive sexuality education to people with I/DD in schools or in the communities. In this online workshop, we will hear two stories of states that made this happen, Illinois and Virginia. We will learn what works and doesn’t work when trying to pass legislation and give you tips and tools for making laws and mandates a reality in your state.
- Explore the story of passing Illinois’ HB 3299
- Explore the story of passing Virginia’s HB134
- Examine the strategies for working upstream and getting laws passed within your state.
Brian Kelmar is the cofounder and Chairman of Legal Reform for Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (LRIDD), a parent advocacy group. LRIDD was created to help other parents who are going through similar situations and an advocacy for creating change in the criminal justice system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is a retired Navy Commander and carrier aviator. He has an undergraduate degree from Penn State, an MBA from Troy State and executive education from Harvard Business School. He lives with his wife in Richmond VA and proud parent of three boys. He enjoys running marathons.
Teresa Parks, MSW, NCG is the Deputy Director of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission as well as Director of the Commission’s Human Rights Authority. Parks holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana and is National Certified Guardian through the Center for Guardianship Certification. Parks is also a graduate of Illinois’ Partners in Policy Making Program and the Institute of Special Education Advocacy through William and Mary Law School. Prior to working for the Commission, Parks was a nursing home ombudsman and program director for a community mental health agency. Currently, Parks serves on the board and education committee of the Illinois Guardianship Association, is an appointed member of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities and is a trustee for the Center for Guardianship Certification. She has also served on various local and regional disability-related boards and committees. Parks is the parent of two adult children, including a son with disabilities.
Diana Braun, Self Advocate