A Reflection on Cosmos Past Year of Sexuality Education

"Cup Of Jo"

2012 has been an absolutely phenomenal year here at Cosmos! And our Sexuality Education has been no exception. We offered our very first workshop series in January of 2012 to support persons with disabilities in achieving sexual wellness, and I am excited to say that over 50 participants have completed the workshop series to date.

We also gave a variety of presentations to promote the value of Sexuality Education for all persons. Many people were unaware that historically people with disabilities have not received teachings about sex and sexuality equal to their non-disabled peers. So, I went out and told them, and so far everyone who took the course was happy I did. I spoke with OPG & PDD Central Region, an FASD Family Support Group, all our Cosmos staff, and pretty much anyone else who would listen!

As the momentum picked up, people actually got excited to talk about SEX!
(pardon the pun)
So naturally I decided it was time to change the world!
"Right this minute?" you ask. Yes, now!
Then I realized maybe I should change Alberta today, and take care of that "rest of the world stuff" the day after that...lol, if only it could be that simple.

I decided to take my show on the road and asked to present at the Annual ACDS Spring Conference, and then the Provincial FASD Conference in the fall. Guess what? They both said YES!!! So now there are approximately 300 professionals in the disability services sector that have seen our SEX IS A VERB! ©2012 presentation (or a version of it) and they want more ... more information, education, understanding, and of course, they are anticipating Cosmos' upcoming Train the Trainer to enhance their skills and start teaching the Cosmos course to participants across the province. Now that's MOMENTUM!!!
(and oh yeah, more work just waiting for me in the new year...gotta love it)

Sometime in between presenting at those conferences, Cosmos was fortunate enough to enter into a partnership with the University of Alberta, department of Educational Psychology, to develop a research project that measures the impact of Sexuality Education on participants as compared to a control group.

And to cap off a fabulous year, Cosmos and our Sexuality Education Workshop Series was featured in PDD Central Region's November/December 2012 Newsletter. It should be posted online soon and found by following this link PDD Central Region Newsletters and clicking on November/December 2012. We do need to make one small apology related to the newsletter as Cosmos was unaware that PDD used a heterosexual piece of clip art in the article. We do not endorse the use of this clip art in the context of an article on Cosmos' Sexuality Education.

It is our belief that all persons are sexual beings, that each of us have the right to explore and be educated about our sexuality, and that we have a responsibility to provide holistic supports to persons with disabilities that includes sexuality. Cosmos believes in supporting all persons in achieving sexual wellness through education and advocacy, and we place high value on respecting the diversity of all persons.

We believe that sexuality is very personal for each of us,

and as such, we support people to

enjoy a lifestyle unique to their values and their choice of sexual expression

(whether solo or with a partner of their choosing).

 
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Thanks for reading!

Joanne Marcotte, BASC

Chair, Central Alberta FASD Society

Services and Development Specialist

Cosmos Community Support Services Ltd.

P.S. If you, or someone you know, would like to sign up for the course,

please contact Cosmos @ (403)343-0715.

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Author: Joanne Marcotte

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