Print and DVD Resources
Online Resources, Videos, and Podcasts
Television and Film

Print and DVD Resources

Public Health Agency of Canada

Questions and Answers: Sexual Health Education for Youth with Physical Disabilities aims to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding sexual education and physical disabilities. This resource identifies physical, attitudinal, and economic obstacles as the main barriers to sexual education. It provides a list of suggestions for educators, as well as for the broader community regarding this matter, as well as concrete actions for ensuring inclusive sexual education. Some of the included suggestions are:

–          Learn how to speak openly about sex and sexuality, including sexuality and disability.

–          Challenge inaccurate media stereotypes or misinformation about people with physical disabilities.

–          Identify support groups within the community for youth with physical disabilities.

Questions and Answers: Sexual Health Education for Youth with Physical Disabilities

Alberta Health Services

This short, easy-to-read guide for parents provides useful information and tips about sexuality and disability. It describes the role of the parents, and what children need to know regarding sexuality and their bodies. The guide also explains the phases of a child’s development, and offers tips and strategies for each of the phases. Additionally, it provides a list of tips for parents to help them discuss sexuality with their children.

Sexuality and Disability: Guide for Parents

Diverse City

David Hingsberger, an Ontario-based researcher, educator and activist, has been engaged in researching and teaching about issues relating to abuse, sexuality and intellectual disabilities for some time. His website offers accessible information and resources in the form of books, DVD’s and educational materials. Relevant topics: knowledge can reduce sexual abuse, how to support intellectually disabled sexual offenders, information about masturbation techniques, and information about proper condom use.

Diverse City Website

Planned Parenthood – Northern New England

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in the United States provides online resources with the goal of helping parents to broach issues of sexuality and intimacy with their intellectually disabled children. They have also produced an extensive sex education curriculum that is available to educators. As noted in the main body of this report, such programmes have been used by independent agency workers in our study, but without training or support.

Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality Curriculum

GULP! Newsletter

GULP! is a newsletter designed by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE). Issue number 4 focuses on developmental disabilities and aims to help parents talk about sexuality with their children. This newsletter consists of six articles, each of them addressing different topics such as sexual health and tips for talking about sexuality. This issue also focuses on two special topics (Sexual Abuse and Relationships), and provides a list of useful resources that includes books and videos on sexuality.

GULP Newsletter

Reproductive & Sexual Health Law: Developments & Resources

This blog covers cases and court decisions that include forced sterilization and other newgenics practices around the world. Also, it presents various academic articles and books that address these issues.

For more discussion on this topic, see Sexuality: Now, and Sexuality: Then

Online Resources, Videos, and Podcasts

Change People

This UK-based self-advocacy organization has been developing resources in plain language and visual imagery concerning parenting, sexuality, vulnerability and abuse, decision-making, dealing with family courts and social workers, maternity and birthing services specific to learning disabilities, and relationship issues for many years. They offer a number of free on-line publications, and they also have on-line modules of sexuality training for workers.

Change People Website

Canadian Centre on Disability Studies

The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies (CCDS) has a mandate dedicated to research, education, and information dissemination on disability issues. CCDS is guided by the philosophies of independent living and community living. The philosophy emphasizes human rights, self-determination, interdependence, equality, a cross-disability focus, and full and valued participation of all citizens in the community. While CCDS is a university affiliated centre we are also committed to fostering a spirit of collaboration among the disability community, government and academia.

CCDS Website
CCDS Facebook Page

Disability History Museum

The Disability History Museum’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experiences of people with disabilities, their families, and their communities over time.

Disability History Museum Website

Check out this article about a new literary genre called “Sexy Sick Chic Lit” that was coined by two Canadian authors in 2012. As the article explains, “the genre is ‘written specifically by and about women with chronic diseases and/or disabilities,’ and features humorous, sassy, and sometimes even sexy elements.” This new and exciting literary genre has already generated various narratives about disabled women and dating, sex, and pleasure.

The Peak – Disability and desire aren’t mutually exclusive

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

My Gimpy Life is an online comedy series about “the awkward adventures of a driven actress (Teal Sherer) trying to navigate Hollywood in a wheelchair.” In these two episodes, the main characters in the series use humor to challenge some of the dominant ideas about disability and sexuality.

Episode 3 – Inspirational
Episode 8 – The Morning After

For more information on the show visit the My Gimpy Life Official Youtube Channel

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

In this TEDx Talk, Cheryl Cohen Greene talks about her experience working as a surrogate partner in California, United States. She worked with deceased poet and journalist Mark O’Brien who was paralyzed from the neck down due to polio. Mark hired Cheryl to experience sexual intimacy for the first time in his life. Their story served as an inspiration for the film The Sessions (2012).

Sexuality & disability – A seat at the table: Cheryl Cohen Greene [VIDEO]

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

Ouch Show 100: “How does a young man go about losing his virginity when his arms and legs don’t work? What’s it like to be both gay and disabled? And is falling in love with your careworker ever a good thing? Disabled panelists Asta, Daryl and Kirsty take a tough conversation to the next level in our sex and relationships special. Rob Crossan and Kate Monaghan present.”

Ouch Show 100: Sex and Relationships Special. [PODCAST]

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

CBC The Current: “… a frank and enlightening discussion on the reality of being disabled and finding sexual intimacy and expression. From a project training sex trade workers to accept disabled clients… to the debate on who should pay and the many misconceptions.”

In Search of Equal Opportunities in Sexual Expression: Sex and Disability [PODCAST]

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

In this article Fran Vicary, a well-known advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities, describes her journey from living a guarded and constrained life with her family to gaining independence and enjoying life by her own rules. She focuses on her exploration of sexuality and engaging in intimate, sexual relationships with men she used to meet online. Vicary presents her personal experiences and struggles in order to raise important questions about how we understand disability and sexuality. One such question Vicary raises is “why don’t we facilitate sexual contact for people with disabilities?”

The Guardian – Sex and disability: yes, the two can and should go together

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

Read about the experiences of Tom Banks, a young man with cerebral palsy, who has been looking for love on different internet dating sites and has become “an expert when I comes to meeting guys online.” When talking about his challenges trying to fit into the LGBT community, Banks noted, “It is really hard because in the gay world you have to look a certain way and act a certain way, so it’s really hard because I am not a typical gay guy, because I am different from everybody else.”

Tom Banks is gay, disabled, and looking for love

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

Andrew Morrison-Gurza talks about his experiences and the challenges in trying to find a place within the LGBTQ community as someone who identifies as both queer and disabled.

“I came out, now how do I get in? The dilemma of being a queer crip.” 

Read more of Andrew’s work on the Huffington Post:

The Misadventures of Dating When Queer and Crippled
Why Sex with Someone with a Disability is the Best Sex You Could be Having!

For more discussion on this topic, visit Sexuality: Now

Television and Film

Gabrielle Film PosterGabrielle (2013) is a Canadian film about a young woman living with Williams syndrome who begins a romantic relationship with a fellow choir member named Martin. This movie depicts challenges associated with life in a group home, as well as power struggles that often occur when social workers, parents, and disabled individuals themselves negotiate the boundaries related to independence and personal autonomy.

Gabrielle Wikipedia Page
Gabrielle Internet Movie Database Page
Gabrielle Official Film Trailer





Be My Brother Film PosterBe My Brother (2009) won the top prize at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival. In only 7 minutes this movie portrays the character of a young charming man, Richard, who has a Down syndrome and is struggling to be accepted. After approaching a stranger at the bus station Richard starts winning her attention by showing his talents and charisma. The actor who plays Richard is Gerard O’Dwyer, an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Be My Brother Internet Movie Database Page
Watch Be My Brother Online at Vimeo






Monica & David Film PosterMonica & David (2009) explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs.  Monica and David are blissfully in love and want what other adults have—an independent life.  Full of humor, romance and everyday family drama, the film uses intimate fly-on-the wall footage to reveal the complexity of their story.  While Monica and David are capable beyond expectations, their parents, aware of mainstream rejection of adults with intellectual disabilities, have trouble letting go (Official website film synopsis).

Official Website
Internet Movie Database Page
Monica & David Wikipedia Page





Leilani Muir Documentary PosterThe Sterilization of Leilani Muir is a 1996 documentary directed by Glynis Whiting about the life and times of Leilani Muir, the first person to file a lawsuit against the Alberta provincial government for wrongful sterilization under the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta. (The Sterilization of Leilani Muir,, 2014)

National Film Board of Canada
The Sterilization of Leilani Muir Wikipedia Page





John and Michael Film PosterJohn and Michael (2004) is a short animated film that tells the story of “two men with Down’s Syndrome who shared an intimate and profoundly loving relationship.” It is a moving film about love, intimacy, loss and healing. Moreover, John and Michael challenges the notion that intellectually disabled people are not capable of or interested in being intimate with others, and raises attention to the experiences of people of who identify as both disabled and queer. The film is beautifully narrated by Brian Davis who is himself an intellectually disabled person.

Watch John and Michael Online at the National Film Board of Canada Website
John and Michael Wikipedia Page





The Sessions Movie PosterThe Sessions is a 2012 American independent drama written and directed by Ben Lewin. It is based on the article “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate” by Mark O’Brien, a poet paralyzed from the neck down due to polio, who hired a sex surrogate to lose his virginity. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt star as O’Brien and sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene, respectively. (The Sessions,, 2014)

The Sessions Official Website
The Sessions Wikipedia Page






Scarlet Road Screening PosterScarlet Road (2011) is a documentary about Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton, who has worked extensively with disabled clients. In her activist work Rachel Wotton challenges the idea that disabled people are not interested in sex, and brings attention to the importance of pleasurable touch and sexual intimacy in the lives of disabled people. “Everyone has a right to sexual expression, and that includes people with disability,” says Wotton. One shortcoming of this documentary is that by focusing primarily on the experiences of two heterosexual disabled men, it leaves out the experiences and desires of disabled women (one disabled woman speaks very briefly about her experience with a sex worker), and disabled people who do not identify as heterosexual. However, the documentary should provoke some heated discussions and significant (re)thinking among viewers regarding dominant ideas about sex, pleasure, disability, and sex work.

Scarlet Road Official Website
Scarlet Road Internet Movie Database

*Please note that this film is rated 14A and includes depictions of sex and nudity.



The Intouchables Film PosterThe Intouchables (2011) is a French film based on a true story about Phillip, a quadriplegic man, who hires a young man named Driss to be his support worker. The film looks at questions about sexuality, pleasure and love as Driss not only facilitates opportunities for Phillip to once again experience pleasurable touch, but also encourages him to move forward in his long-term romance through correspondence. Despite some of its clichés, this film is successful in both expanding our common ideas about how sexual pleasure can be obtained and experienced, and creating discussions on the role of support workers in their relationships with their clients.

The Intouchables Internet Movie Database
The Intouchables Wikipedia Page