Helpful Articles

A Prelude to Consent

As sexuality educator, I teach people how to say no, but it’s also my job to teach people how to say yes. To be able to say yes to the things you really want and no to the things you […]

Autism and Gender Identity

Article This article is short and explores Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and the connection to Autism. This article is longer, but provides some real examples of people with Autism who are “gender variant” or “Transsexual.” It also has […]

Consider This: Self Advocates as Sexuality Educators?

One way to help people with developmental disabilities lead sexually healthy lives is to provide sexuality education classes. Here at Elevatus, we believe the most effective way of doing this is by including self-advocates in the teaching team.  Here are […]

COVID-19 Resource for People with IDD

    This resource is an 8 page handout you can share with the people you work with. SARTAC is the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center:  This booklet was created by Green Mountain Self-Advocates, a SARTAC partner.      

Dignity of Risk is About Seizing Opportunities

“To deny the right to make choices in an effort to protect the person with disabilities from risk is to diminish their human dignity.” -Robert Perske, Long-time advocate for people with intellectual disabilities We all take risks in our lives. […]

Disability Awareness

                  Here’s the link to the video Katherine here… I spent many years as a non-disabled person and people interacted with me as such. They saw me as an independent, regular person […]

Do Autistic People Speak a Different Language?

Many Autistic people want to find a sexual/romantic partner, just like many neurotypicals. Our needs are the same as everyone else’s, including the need for love and belonging. People who are in loving, committed relationships tend to live happier and […]

Healthy Boundaries Lesson

Your body is your own and you get to decide what is okay for you and not okay for you. These personal rules are called personal boundaries. Each person has different personal boundaries. For example, some people don’t like to […]

Knowledge is Power

“I was in the mainstream health class in high school learning about health with students without disabilities. When the sexuality unit started, they removed me from class.” ~Anonymous Self Advocate I remember the shock I felt when a self-advocate told […]

Listening to Self-Advocates Voices

Being accepted for who you are and being in relationships has many benefits, yet people with developmental disabilities face barriers in achieving acceptance and for building friendships and romantic sexual relationships that they desire because of restrictions, lack of control, […]

Nothing About Us Without Us

I remember the day Karen Topper, Executive Director of Green Mountain Self Advocates, asked, “can we create a sexuality education curriculum where people with developmental disabilities are teachers and are actively involved in creating this educational tool?” This startling statement […]

Self-Advocates Speak Up About Sex

Members of Green Mountain Self-Advocates in Vermont held a discussion group about sexuality for the purpose of sharing their thoughts and experiences. Here are their candid responses to a number of questions about the messages they received about sexuality over […]

Sexual Rights – Pleasure

Sexual Rights: Pleasure is Not a Four Letter Word As a society, we have a difficult time discussing sexuality and relationships in general, but when the topic of the right to sexual pleasure is talked about, some people can feel […]

Sexual Rights: Acceptance

We all want to be accepted for who we are. If you fit into what most people see as typical (cisgender, binary, and heterosexual), you are, in some ways, automatically accepted. On the other hand, self-advocates who are also part […]

Sexual Rights: Are They Honored or Taken Away?

I want to explore the topic of sexual rights. There are many lists online of what sexual rights are, but what I found most useful was this Sexual Rights Statement that was developed by the Sex Education Implementation Oversight Committee […]

Sexual Rights: Autonomy

Autonomy is to self govern or to determine what you want in your life. It’s about being in charge of your life, body, mind, and relationships. It’s about having the ability to make informed decisions without others pressuring, manipulating, or […]

Sexual Rights: Knowledge

We know that knowledge is power and ignorance is NOT bliss. Last month, we talked about choice and making your own choices, but this month we are adding “informed” to making choices. We all need knowledge to make informed choices, […]

Sexual Rights: Privacy

Privacy is a human right. HIPPA laws give us this right regarding our health information, but when people with I/DD are receiving services, others or even ourselves, may forget about this right. Self advocates state that if there is anything […]

Tips for Talking About Sexuality for Parents

Many parents of children with developmental disabilities need help talking about sexuality. Here are some general tips for talking about this sensitive topic.  You may have to initiate Many children won’t ask questions, so you may need to be the […]

Turning the Gray Areas into Black and White

“Part of me longs for a job where there’s not a gray area”. Jodie Foster Can you relate? Gray areas make everything harder, especially when working with people with I/DD. Here’s Oxfords dictionary’s definition of a gray areas: “an ill-defined […]

What the ‘Sex Talk” looks like Now

A father realizes that he should’ve done his homework before trying to talk to his son about the birds and the bees. With summer starting to wind down many people are getting in the back to school mindset. Think back […]

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