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Supporting Sexualities and Genders

Sexuality and gender are very important parts of who we are. This is also true for disabled and non-disabled people. Sexuality and gender matter to young disabled adults’ as part of their identity, however young disabled adults may need support with this part of their lives which is different to support others receive. The sorts of support they may need might be intimate or personal. Some have personal assistants (PAs) to help with their care and support needs.

We do know that this support can be difficult navigate, both for young disabled adults and for their PAs. Young disabled adults may not know how to negotiate these issues with their PA, or how to manage PAs who respond negatively to support request. This project, which is funded by the NIHR School for Social Care, aims to improve social care for young disabled adults by finding out about these experiences, and exploring ways to ensure these important aspects of their lives are fulfilled.

Through collaboration with a young disabled adults with diverse sexualities and gendered backgrounds, the Supporting Sexualities and Genders study aims to find out these things. Our work comprises three main areas: 

  • We plan to explore young disabled adults’ experiences around seeking gender and sexuality-related support from their PA through interviews, facilitated by creative activities, to find out about their experiences
  • We also plan to investigate PAs’ experiences and their advice and support needs around providing gender and sexuality-related support through focus groups, interviews and online group discussions
  • Once we have learned from our findings we aim to create training and information resources for disabled young adults, adult social care services, PA support organisations and individual PAs. Throughout this process we will work with Disability North, a user-led organisation in Newcastle to think about how best to use the resources we produce.
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Supporting sexualities and genders is a co-production, three-year NIHR funded project. 

Find out more

NIHR project page

Disability North website

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