Taking the initiative: supporting the sexual rights of disabled people

Hilary Brown and Clare Croft-White with Chris Wilson and June Stein

'Taking the initiative' provides an overview of issues facing disabled people in relation to sexuality and personal relationships, and of positive service initiatives designed to address them.

Produced after consultation with disabled people about how they want service providers to support their sexual rights, the report:

  • Reviews current thinking about sexuality and disability; 
  • Identifies what disabled people really want and the issues they face in relation to services; 
  • Establishes criteria for service quality derived from disabled people’s analysis and first-hand experience; 
  • Takes stock of current practice and progress towards disabled people’s goals; 
  • Sets out what good practice would look like in a range of service settings; 
  • Develops an agenda for service development.

The report is written for a diverse audience, since these issues are of interest to users, staff, managers, funders and policy-makers. It is intended to inform service users about what they can expect and ask for, and to inspire disabled people to set up their own services and networks as well as to take a more vocal and influential role around these issues in professionally led and mainstream agencies. The report seeks not only to galvanise disabled people but to challenge service providers and others whose views about sexuality may confine and exclude disabled people.