Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Health, Human Services and Public Policy
Collaborative Health and Human Services
The Without Walls (WOW) Program is a collaboration between Gateway Center of Monterey County and Pacific Grove Adult Education, serving neurodiverse adults between the ages of 18-55. Historically, people with disabilities have been excluded from comprehensive social-emotional and sexual health education which was reflected in the findings of a survey distributed to participants of the WOW program. Of the respondents, 71.4 percent reported never receiving sex education while 57.1 percent reported never receiving education regarding healthy relationships. This is problematic as people with disabilities are more likely to experience harm and are less likely to report it compared to their neurotypical counterparts. Providing a comprehensive curriculum by a qualified social-emotional and sex educator may give adults with disabilities a sense of agency over their bodies, the tools to engage in intimate relationships, and the ability to keep themselves safer in the community. It is recommended that agencies serving neurodiverse individuals implement consistent, comprehensive education regarding anatomy, consent, and boundaries while tailoring it to unique learning styles. In addition, this gap in services offers a unique potential for employment through the training of self-advocates as sex educators.
Mainzer, Talya, "Empowering the Neurodiverse Community Through Sex Education" (2022). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 1356.