Going Upstream: How to Get Legislation Passed in Support of Sexuality Education for Individuals with I/DD

A Pre-Recorded, 90-Minute Online Workshop

Elevatus Training live, online recording, “Going Upstream: How to Get Legislation Passed in Support of Sexuality Education.” There is a gavel, keyboard and notepad with a pen.

Workshop Description

“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, being charged with a sex crime, losing one’s job, and loneliness in this population. This group of people is 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 intellectual and developmental disabilities (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.

Learning Objectives

  • 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.


Headshot of Brian Kelmar.Brian Kelmar is the co-founder 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 to advocate 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 is a proud parent of three boys. He enjoys running marathons.

Headshot of Teresa Parks.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 a 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.

Headshot of Diana Braun.Diana Braun, Self-Advocate

Workshop Recording

Workshop Accompanying Documents

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