CREA: Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training
February 1 – April 1, 2010 (9 weeks, 5 hours per week)
The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training provides a study of theory and
practice for people working in fields such as development, health and rights, including disability and sexuality. The aim is to develop awareness of issues of disability and sexuality and a political perspective on disabled people’s sexual rights. Participants develop their ability to work in inclusive and holistic ways that further health and rights.
Why take this course?
• Disabled people are often excluded or discriminated against in relation to their
sexuality by health, development and rights organizations because they are not
considered sexual or they are thought to be vulnerable or uncontrolled sexually.
• Disability rights activists and service providers often disregard sexuality issues and rights in favor of issues considered more pressing and appropriate like employment and physical access.
• However, sexuality is an important part of life, identity, society and culture for all
people, including people with disabilities. It can be a source of pleasure and pain,
empowerment and oppression. It cannot be ignored.
Key Questions and Content
• What is disability? Definitions; questioning assumptions and labels. Disability as a system of power inequality and social structure, related to living in the body.
Relationships to other systems (race, class, gender, sexuality, age…).
• What is sexuality? It is much more than sexual acts and sexual orientation. How does it relate to culture, politics, bodies, power, disability…?
• What do human rights have to do with disability and sexuality?
• Why are disabled people discriminated against in relation to sexuality?
• Why is sexuality important to everyone, including disabled people? Why is sexuality important for health, development and rights organizations to consider?
• How does the experience and politics of disability in the global South impact theory and practice on disability rights? How are people organizing and campaigning around these issues?
• How can we advance the rights, health and well-being of people with disabilities?
The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training is an introductory level course on the intersections of these issues. Independent activists and practitioners in development, health and rights NGOs and GOs world-wide are encouraged to apply. Fifteen participants will be selected based on demonstrated interest in disability and sexuality and concrete ideas of relevance to their work. Practitioners will be given preference over students, researchers and academics. The work will be challenging, including reading and discussion of complex theory, but the theory will be grounded in practice.
People with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Institute. The course has been
designed and tested to be accessible to people with various disabilities and those with slower computers and internet connection speeds. We will work with participants to adapt the course as necessary to meet needs and enable full participation.
Costs and Funding
This training workshop is made possible by the support of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and CREA. Participants are required to pay a USD $50 registration fee to contribute towards course expenses. Waivers available on request.
Format and Workload
The course will be conducted entirely online in English with presentations, reading, discussion, research, activities and a final project. Special technology is not required, except a computer that can read Microsoft Word and Power Point documents and with Adobe Reader. Also required is internet access to download/upload documents and comments for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week throughout the course. The training will not be done in real time; participants can complete the assignments at their convenience within the time parameters.
Course participation will take 5-7 hours per week. Participants are expected to participate in the entire course and complete all assignments. Guided by clear learning objectives, the course will be adapted to the unique interests, experiences and needs of the participants. The participants will learn from each other’s ideas and experiences through active involvement and sharing.
Organizers and Resource People
The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training is organized and taught by an
international group of academics and activists in the disability rights field who specialize in sexual and reproductive rights and health from a global South perspective.
Anita Ghai, Ph.D. is Senior Reader in Psychology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi, India and a disability activist in the areas of education, health, sexuality and gender. Currently she is Teenmurti Fellow at Nehru Memorial Museum Library and President of the Indian Association for Women’s Studies. She is on the editorial board of Disability and Society, Disability Studies Quarterly, and Scandinavian Journal of Disability. Her second book was (Dis)Embodied Form: Issues of Disabled Women (2003).
Caroline Earle works as Program Coordinator in the New York office of CREA, a feminist human rights organization based in New Delhi (www.creaworld.org). She handles development, administration, communication and programs, including coordinating the global Sexuality, Gender and Rights Institute. Her interests include disability and sexuality, feminist leadership, and sexuality education. She received an M.S.Ed in early childhood and elementary education and a B.A. in social anthropology.
Ekaete Judith Umoh is a disability rights advocate, Founder and Executive Director, Family Centered Initiative for Challenged Persons (FACICP), Benin City, Nigeria and National Coordinator, Women’s Issues, Joint National Association of People with Disabilities, Nigeria. She served as an advisor to the book project A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities (2007) published by Hesperian Foundation, Berkeley, California. She holds a PGDE in Science Education and FUD in Microbiology with Virology in Laboratory Technology.
Janet Price is a feminist and disabled campaigner from Northern England who is a member of the Gender and Health Group and an Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She works on issues of sexuality, disability and rights with organizations in India and UK and is on the Board of DaDa (Disability and Deaf Arts) based in Liverpool. Her academic interests include postmodern feminist perspectives on colonialism, disability and the body and she has co-edited Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader (1999) with Margrit Shildrick.