The Center for Relationship & Sexuality Education (CRSE) broadens access to important sexual health information and addresses the overwhelming vulnerability to sexual abuse experienced by the intellectual and developmental disability community. We do this by providing learning materials and professional development to members of the disability community, their families/guardians, medical professionals and the educators who support them.
Our goal is to support sexual health and safety for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
People with developmental disabilities have the right to information about their body and safe sexual expression according to their individual capacity to learn."
— Lucille M. Duguay, Established the Oak Hill Center for Relationship & Sexuality Education
We are the proud affiliate of Easterseals. For 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and their families. Easterseals affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5M people through high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development, adult day care and more high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development, adult day care and more.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate SEVEN TIMES higher than those without disabilities. There are several (largely preventable) reasons for these increased risks. Typically, there is limited access or no access to health education in the isolated special education classrooms that many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) find themselves in. Even in inclusive classrooms, students with disabilities often end up missing “elective” class time (like health class) for occupational therapy or other specialized services they may need.
In public schools, sexual health education standards vary widely depending on the state you live in. Regardless of ability, many people simply do not receive the sexual health education they need in school. Through social immersion, however, most people reach adulthood having gleaned the important facts. People with IDD do not have that same social immersion. Peers may see them as being “different” and as a result, friendships are difficult and often unbalanced for people with IDD. Most grow up feeling extremely isolated from their peers.
As educators, it is our duty to keep the conversation going and do everything we can to help keep students safe.
The only way to face this problem is head on, and Oak Hill’s focus is on educating and empowering as many people as possible, providing the skills and tools they need to protect themselves and take charge of their bodies.
Please help us raise awareness! Use the #SevenTimes hashtag in social media posts and talk about this important issue. We are all responsible for protecting the safety and rights of our students.
Students have a right to know about their bodies and how to have healthy relationships.
We are grateful for all the support!
Oak Hill’s CRSE has received a very generous grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism for $4,000. This incredible award funded a series of educational webinars designed to empower individuals with Autism. Here they could better protect themselves and take charge of their bodies by learning about healthy relationships and sexual health.
Arizona's Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (ADDPC) has included CRSE's Healthy Relationships and Sexual Education curriculum and workbooks in their 2021 Self-Advocate Resource Guide. This resource guide is "created by people with disabilities for people with disabilities". There was "a thorough review by their self-advocates of several resources regarding healthy relationships and abuse" and our resources were sought to be the most meaningful and accessible. The resource guide is located at https://addpc.az.gov/prevention-abuse.
We want to hear from you!
Please take some time to explore our innovative services. If you are interested in learning more about CRSE’s resources, please contact us at CRSEinfo@oakhillct.org.
Oak Hill is very active on social media providing a great deal of resources and updates regarding our advocacy, special events, and services including that of CRSE. We would love to connect with you on Instagram: @oakhillct