Developing romantic and sexual relationships: Exploring the lived experiences of people with complex communication needs

Darryl James Sellwood, Pammi Raghavendra, Ruth Ballance Walker, Paul Damian Jewell

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Abstract

This research investigates the lived experiences of people with complex communication needs in developing romantic and sexual relationships. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (2013) asserts people with disabilities have equal rights to others to participate in social relationships and acknowledges the additional barriers they face. Often the disability sector focuses on daily living skills and employment out-comes, neglecting sexuality and intimacy needs (Valvano et al., 2014). Research acknowledges that people with congenital disabilities need a whole of life approach to exploring sexuality and intimate relationships (Wiegerink, Roebroeck, Bender, Stam, & Cohen-Kettenis, 2011). Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) litera-ture discusses many of the identified issues, yet has a strong focus on sexual abuse protection (Collier, McGhie-Richmond, Odette, & Pyne, 2006; Light & McNaughton, 2015), and also calls for improved sex education and on-going relationship support (Collier et al., 2006). A recent systematic review ascertained that little is known about the lived experiences of people with complex communication needs in developing romantic or sexual relationships (Sellwood, Raghavendra, & Jewell, 2017).
Original languageEnglish
Pages276-277
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventISAAC 2018: AACcess all areas - Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre , Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 21 Jul 201826 Jul 2018

Conference

ConferenceISAAC 2018
CountryAustralia
CityGold Coast
Period21/07/1826/07/18
Other18th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Keywords

  • complex communication needs
  • romantic relationships
  • sexual relationships

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