I just had a chance to talk briefly with Caroline Earle from CREA about what sounds like a great new project. It's an online course offering training in disability, sexuality and rights for people working in development, health and rights NGOs and social activists. Who could this training be good for? Caroline gave the example of someone working in an HIV/AIDS clinic who would certainly be aware of how HIV impacts people's lives, but might not have made the connection to disability and get how powerful (for both individuals and organizations trying to make change) linking sexuality, gender, and disability can be as sites of political struggle.
This is such a needed training. I find that in even the most sexually progressive organizations there is still a general lack of acknowledgment of disability rights in general and folks living with disabilities in particular. And on the other side, it's often hard to get disability rights groups to take up sexual rights as part of their mandate.
The training is entirely online and they seem committed to using as accessible technologies and formats as possible. It's nine weeks and will take about five hours a week, but people can work, to some extent, at their own pace. Each week offers a power point and lecture notes, readings, and activities/assignments.
It sounds like a great primer for anyone interested in opening up the work they and/or their organization does and shifting away from a model of exclusion (which, lets face it, is how most organizations function if you identify as disabled). I also love that assignments will focus on helping each participant find ways to bring what they are learning back to their organization in a really practical and concrete way.
Lastly, it's only $50! And they offer a fee waiver if you or your agency simply has no money at all. I've been part of workshops and courses like this in the past, but always in person and always when I had the time and money to attend. Two privileges a lot of folks working around sex and disability don't have.
The course developed out of a panel at a conference called Disabled Queer Women Working Together for Our Sexual Rights and the format of doing an online course came from CREA collaborator and one of the course instructors Janet Price.
The deadline for signing up is December 18th. The course runs from February 1 to April 1, 2010.
You can find more information, download the course brochure and application form at the top of the CREA homepage (it's small, and easy to miss).
Related - Sex & Disability on About.com
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