Under the Covers - Northcott Innovation
Written by Northcott Innovation
Here at Northcott Innovation (NI), we believe that sexuality is a human right. People with disability have the right to live full, independent lives of their own choosing and this includes expressing their sexuality. People with disability are often assumed to have no sexual needs or desires. The sexual education provided to people with a disability often leaves gaps, or only explores selected aspects of sexuality. It often doesn’t encompass the creativity and inventiveness required to accommodate all aspects of a person’s abilities and sexuality. NI are passionate about providing people with disability the tools they need to be fully informed about all aspects of sexuality and to feel confident in their sexual lives.
This is why we launched our campaign Under the Covers. Our primary aim is to raise awareness and educate the community about the right for people with disability to express their sexuality, have fulfilling and loving relationships, and enjoy a satisfying sexual life. Over a series of revealing videos, six people from across the disability spectrum share their experiences of navigating intimate relationships and the barriers they face to enjoying a satisfying sex life.
The discussions in the videos are frank and fearless, and nothing is off-limits. Interviewees talk candidly about everything from hooking up and dating to accessing sex workers and masturbation.
Samantha Frain, Executive Director at NI, says she hopes Under the Covers will challenge the persistent and damaging misconceptions around sex and disability.
“One of the biggest myths out there in the community is that people with disability have no sexual needs or desires. It’s not true. Sexual expression is a human right and we are determined to get that message out there.”
Mohammed, who has cerebral palsy, hopes that by sharing his experiences he will inspire other people with disability to explore their sexuality.
“I think it’s important to raise awareness for people, to build up their courage. If I can encourage one person to do that, that’s a big thing for me. It’s a beautiful experience. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
The video series covers the topics of:
- Sex and Disability
- Love, relationships and intimacy
- Community attitudes to sex and disability
- Accessing sex workers
Watch the videos here.
For Genni, accessing a sex worker has been "one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life". Genni says she finds the costs and lack of services frustrating, but there are few other options for people with disabilities like her.
By giving people like him a voice, Mohammed hopes that Under the Covers will help make sex more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
“Everyone has a right to experience it, no matter what disability you have, no matter how you look or appear to others. Everyone has a right to be loved, and to feel that intimacy with someone else.”
About Northcott Innovation
Northcott Innovation creates new and unexpected solutions for people with disability. We spark ideas that drive all of us towards a more inclusive society. We design and develop innovative technology and equipment that ensures people fulfil their potential. We rethink services and supports by bringing together business, government, not-for-profit and community members to design solutions to intractable social problems. We drive social change in new and surprising ways, just like Under the Covers.
As part of NI’s commitment to building an inclusive society, we work closely with organisations such as XES Products, who also strive to promote inclusion and accessibility across products, information and events.
Want to know more? Contact the team today!
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