Disabled people also want to enjoy sexuality

Breaking taboos was the aim of the international congress "Enthinderte Sexualität" (Disabled Sexuality) in Linz. The legs are paralyzed, the heart is not. They are people with feelings, needs and the desire to touch a loved one.

And yet it is still a social taboo that people with physical or mental disabilities are sexually active. "People with disabilities are still seen as asexual beings," says Ernst Leidinger, head of invita, a suborganisation of Caritas. Parents of disabled children in particular find it difficult to grant them sexual development.

"Often there is information about dangers, but not about possibilities to live out sexuality," explains Wolfgang Glaser from the Senia association. In order to change this, the association will in future take care of counselling on the subject of "sexuality with disabilities" on behalf of the state. Senia is the contact for people with disabilities and their relatives and gives advice on how people with disabilities can best be accompanied in their sexuality.

Mother in a wheelchair

Parenthood is closely related to sexuality. "Parents with disabilities have no social relevance," explains Bernadette Feuerstein, who is affected as a wheelchair user and mother of a small daughter. With personal assistance, however, her everyday life can be managed well.

Another focus of the "Enthinderte Sexualität" congress in Linz was protection against sexual assault. 64 percent of disabled women are affected by sexual violence.

Information and help: www.senia.at

Quelle: www.rundschau.co.at, 14.05.08

Über die Autorin/den Autor
Diana Saft ist staatlich anerkannte Heilpädagogin und Heilerziehungspflegerin. Sie sammelte bisher Erfahrungen in einem Seniorenheim, in einem Wohnheim für Menschen mit Behinderungen, in einem integrativen Kindergarten und in einem deutschen Kindergarten in den USA.

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