Programming Connection

Sexual Health Information Project (SHIP) 

Griffin Centre Mental Health Services
Ontario
2012

Lessons Learned

  • Involving LGBTQ youth labelled with intellectual disabilities in key decisions increases the personal agency of self-advocates.
  • The active participation of Consultants in shaping the direction of each resource and engaging participants in providing their feedback is critical to the relevance of the resources.
  • Consulting with community stakeholders with expertise in disability and sexuality helps in the development of accurate and relevant resources.
  • The approach to working should be flexible, fun and social in order to maximize the engagement of people labelled with intellectual disabilities.
  • Success requires a “safe” environment in which participants are free to express opinions and feelings without fear of personal judgment or stigma.
  • The social determinants of health have an enormous impact on the LGBTQ youth labelled with intellectual disabilities who collaborate on this project and this must be accounted for at every step.
  • Within the developmental sector, service providers often work with a broad range of people labelled with intellectual disabilities. This can include differences in verbal and nonverbal communication and understanding. Designing workshop activities that take into account this range of abilities is critical. We have found that arts-based activities such as visual arts and theatre can be one way of creating more inclusive workshop environments.