Relationships for individuals with disabilities can be a challenge whether it is a relationship with a sibling, parent, peers, coworkers or an intimate relationship.
I would like to concentrate on intimate relationships for the disabled; although things have come a long way there is still a stigma that comes with being disabled. People with physical disabilities in today’s society are often regarded as non-sexual adults. There are many myths and assumptions around sex and disability; for example; the belief that disabled people are asexual (not interested in sex) or incapable of sex.
Quite often the thought of a person with a disability having an intimate relationship makes people very uncomfortable namely parents of individuals with disabilities.
I remember being on a board several years ago at a meeting the topic of sex came up and as I looked around the room to see the reactions of the other people present I could help but notice the reaction of one particular parent; she was mortified, and this kind of reaction isn’t unusual.
Not wanting to single this parent out I did say to the group that at some point parent would have to deal with the issue of sex, giving their children with a disability the “Talk” just as they would there nondisabled children.
If you are a parent that has a child with a disability and would like to talk to you child about intimate relationships or if you are an individual with a disability and feel that your parents don’t want to discuss intimate relationships with you I suggest that you go see a counsellor as a family to overcome the fear of talking about this topic or any other topic.
COUNSELLING SERVICES AVAILABLE IN EDMONTON:
Free Counselling Services:
Community Services City of Edmonton 780-496-4777
Support Network Walk in Counselling 780-482-0198
Mon-Wed 1 Pm-8 pm/Thurs-Fri 10am-3 pm
Sliding Scale Counselling Services:
Catholic Social Services 780-420-1970
Family Centre 780-424-5580
You may be someone or know someone that could benefit from the use of the Plan Edmonton Program
PLAN Edmonton is a family directed organization that assists families to build a circle of friends for a family member who is isolated or is at risk of being isolated due to disability, living arrangement, limited opportunities, society’s perception or other circumstance.
PLAN Edmonton encourages families to define “a good life” for their family member and assist with by making that good life a reality. We also assist the family with obtaining a degree of peace of mind through planning for a safe and secure future for their family member who may otherwise have been isolated and vulnerable.
PLAN Edmonton accomplishes this through:
- Assisting families to plan for the future
- Facilitation of loving and caring personal support networks based on friendships
- Provision of information on a wide range of issues and topics including will and estate planning, home ownership and legal guardianship options
- Provision of family support and advocacy
- A lifetime commitment to families
- Advocating on behalf of people with disabilities with government & non-government groups in areas such as reform of tax and trust legislation
- Creation of greater community awareness of the contribution that can be made by people with disabilities.
Suite 210, 11803 – 125 Street,
Edmonton, AB T5L 0S1
Tel: (780) 488-2422,
Fax: (780) 451-6709
Dating and the Disabled
Although I don’t recommend it there are dating sites that are dedicated to individuals with disabilities. Although I do caution you to be very careful and be safe if you decide to go that route.
Here is a List of Dating Sites:
Disability Hook-up – Yahoo Group
Disabled and Having a Family:
Some individuals with disabilities are already in healthy intimate relationships and are considering having a family however sometimes conceiving a child can be difficult, if you are someone in this situation you have many options. Two option you can consider is adopt or you can attempt IVF.
If you would like more information about adoption in the province of Alberta, visit
http://humanservices.alberta.ca/adoption.html for more information
IVF CLINICS (INVETROFERTILIZATION) in Alberta
If you would like to explore the option of IVF the following is a list of IVF Clinics in Alberta
Alberta Fertility Centre, Dr. Michael Awad, 5201 43 St., #140, Red Deer AB T4N 1C7, 403-347-2650, Michael@albertafertility.com. Obstetrician-gynecologist; infertility services. Ovulation induction, superovulation, endocrinology, HSG, laparoscopic surgery for infertility, sperm washing, partner and donor insemination.
Fertility and Endocrinology Clinic, Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway Ave., Edmonton T5H 3V9, 780-735-5609, http://www.capitalhealth.ca. IUI, cryopreservation of semen. [sometimes, Women’s Endocrinology Clinic]
Regional Fertility Program, Foothills Medical Center, #300, 1620 – 29 Street NW, Calgary T2N 4L7, 403-284-5444, http://www.regionalfertilityprogram.ca. IVF program began in 1984. ICSI, IUI, HSG, superovulation intrauterine insemination, egg and embryo donation, surrogacy.