The Education Committee launched their report on sexual education today (January 29th) to a packed AV room in Leinster House. Read the full report at this link
Inclusion Ireland presented to the education committee in May on people with intellectual disability and sexual education and highlighted the need for accessible and age appropriate sexual education and for the need to review the educational requirements for adults who had not received appropriate sex education.
The report contains a recommendation that specific curriculum for people with an intellectual disability that is accessible and appropriate and deals with sexuality and contraception. The report also recommends that school leavers and older adults who may have missed out on sexual education may received reinforced education.
Speaking at the launch, chairperson Fiona O’Loughlin TD, referenced Inclusion Ireland’s contribution and said that it was “dehumanising” to consider people with intellectual disabilities as “eternal children”. Jan O’Sullivan TD pointed out that the Education Committee has a role to make sure that Minister for Education Joe McHugh is invited by the committee to update on the progress of the recommendations.
RTÉ covered the launch, and said “disability organisation Inclusion Ireland told the committee of "taboos" that constantly surrounded the area of sexuality and intellectual disability. It warned of "a damaging preconception" that people with intellectual disabilities were "eternal children, devoid of sexuality".
The report also said that “the committee expressed particular concern that people with an intellectual disability who have sexual relationships were at a high risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and were "much more likely to experience violence, including sexual violence, than their non-disabled peers".
You can read the RTÉ report at this link
In related news, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment are conducting a review of sexual education & Inclusion Ireland will input into that review.