Time for sexuality policy for the NDIS

People with disability, and our organisations, are today calling for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop a comprehensive policy on sexuality for people with disability accessing the NDIS.
“Today we’re releasing a position statement, signed by over 40 organisations, calling on the Australian Government to include sexuality supports in the NDIS,” said Matthew Bowden, Expert Advisor, People with Disability Australia and member of Disabled People’s Organisations Australia.
“This includes funding for sex work and sex therapy services as part of people with disability’s NDIS plans.”
The Joint Position Statement, released today, signed by 41 organisations, outlines the range of professional supports needed for people with disability to express their sexuality, and have fulfilling sexual experiences.
“Some people with disability need specific support to enjoy a positive sexuality and healthy relationships, as part of having an ordinary life. The NDIS needs to include access to these supports, and not deny their sexual expression,” said Saul Isbister, President, Touching Base.
The recent Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) case, supporting the provision of sexual services as part of a person with disability’s NDIS plan, showed that funding for these kinds of services are reasonable and necessary.
“I’ve been so pleased by the levels of support and encouragement that have come in since the AAT decision was announced. We’ve been really heartened by the diverse members of the community contacting Touching Base,” said Mr Isbister.
“This shows that the community understands the very basic concept that people with disability have sex, just like non-disabled people, and may need to access support for their sexual expression.”
“ACTCOSS is pleased to support this Joint Position Statement, as well as supporting the ACT Minister Disability Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA in her decision to block any changes to the NDIS Rules around access to sexuality support,” said Susan Helyar, Executive Director, ACT Council of Social Service.

“Having a wide ranging and supportive position on sexuality would be an opportunity for the NDIA to recognise the long standing position of state and territory governments  and disability services, and take a stand for the rights of people with disability.”
“By developing a comprehensive, rights-based sexuality policy, the NDIA will recognise the needs to people with disability to a full, adult, ordinary life,” said Mr Bowden.
More information:
El Gibbs
Director, Media and Communications, People with Disability Australia
0408 682 867