Let's Talk About the Unspeakable: Intimacy
​In 2012, the North Carolina Counsel on Developmental Disabilities funded a special research project with the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI). The special project culminated in the North Carolina Relationships Initiative which included policy recommendations to promote health social and emotional relationships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To read the full project report, visit the project webpage: http://www.hsri.org/project/north-carolina-relationships-initiative

As substantiated by HSRI res​ults, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina face multiple barriers to experiencing healthy social and emotional relationships that
are essential to human health. These relationships are typically accessible to others in the general 
population; yet these connections are largely unavailable to people with developmental disabilities due to identified barriers. 

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions heard the results of this study and found it imperative to join in partnership with Katherine McLaughlin, an expert on sexuality and developmental disabilities. Katherine is a private consultant and teaches Human Sexuality at Keene State College in New Hampshire. She has trained nationally at conferences, developed and led parent workshops on Talking to Your Kids with Disabilities about Sexuality, and has trained staff on how to
address sexuality with people with disabilities. She also co-authored two curricula for Planned
Parenthood of Northern New England where she was a sexuality educator and trainer for over 20
years. Her curricula include Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities and
Sexual Violence in Teenage Lives. 

After months of planning, Community Partners of Mecklenburg hosted an Intimacy and Sexuality: Train the Trainer on Oct. 6-8. This unprecedented and ground-breaking training prepared attendees on how to train Intimacy and Sexuality workshops for provider staff, parents, and self-advocates. The time has come to disregard the myth that if we don’t talk about intimacy, it will not happen or the myth that trainings like this are to teach people h​ow to have sex. This training is to empower people with information that is essential to help people with intellectual and developmental disability live rich and fulfilling lives. Also by being ambassadors of knowledge we can share tools so that people can protect and prevent themselves being victims of sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation. 

If you feel that you could benefit from any of the following workshops please contact Monique Moreno, Community Relations Specialist and she will assist you with getting linked to trainers in your area. You can email her at: monique.moreno@CardinalInnovations.org.