Milkshakes and cups of tea: Talking about consent with people with intellectual disability and complex communication needs

Dr. Amie O’Shea1, Megan Walsh1,2,3

1Deakin University, Australia, 2CP-Achieve Centre for Research Excellence, Australia, 3Children’s Therapy Services, Geelong, Australia

Background
Within today’s social and political climate, the issue of sexual consent is front of mind for many people. Many people who provide support to people with intellectual disability find it difficult to approach the topic of consent, or consider it too difficult to broach. This is particularly the case for people with intellectual disability who have complex communication needs, who may often be left out of discussions around sexual consent. This begs the question – how do we talk about consent with people with intellectual and communication disabilities?

Method
Co-presented by a sexuality researcher and a speech pathologist, this presentation will integrate the sexuality researcher’s prior research, the speech pathologist’s clinical experience, and contemporary knowledge around sexual consent in order to discuss the current situation for people with intellectual disability and complex communication needs.

Results
The presentation will discuss ways to address the issue of sexual consent for people with intellectual disability and complex communication needs.

Implications
We will conclude with implications for practice, directions for future research, and recommendations.


Biography:

Dr Amie O’Shea, Lecturer in Disability & Inclusion at Deakin University, uses poststructuralist ideas to inform inclusive empirical, action-focused research. Amie leads a three-year research project with LGBTIQA+ people with intellectual disability. An accredited Auslan interpreter, Amie has an interest in Deaf people with disabilities or complex communication.