PhD Candidate Hannah Ginn and colleagues publish article, "The Sexual Health Needs of People with IDD: Considerations for Support Professionals and Administrators"

Published October 24, 2022

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Hannah Ginn

Hannah Ginn.

Kudos to PhD candidate Hannah Ginn and colleagues on their publication, "The Sexual Health Needs of People with IDD: Considerations for Support Professionals and Administrators" in Sexuality & Disability. 

Atkinson, J., Ginn. H. G., Mullis, L., & Smith, C. (2022). The sexual health needs of people with IDD: Considerations for support professionals and administrators. Sexuality & Disability

Abstract

Disability providers serve an important role in supporting the socio-sexual health and enabling the associated opportunities of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This study examined disability providers’ previous training, perceptions of barriers, and training needs to support the sexual well-being of individuals with IDD. In total, 263 disability professionals in Alaska, Kentucky, and Wyoming completed online surveys. Nearly all providers endorsed that people with IDD need training and support for sexual health. However, almost a third had not received training to address people’s sexual health. Further, less than half of professionals had received any training from their agencies. The highest-rated barrier across all providers involved insufficient training. Professionals’ perceptions of barriers differed based on whether they had received training for a given topic, with those who had received training rating the barrier as lower. In considering what topics should be included in trainings for staff, a majority of providers endorsed all topics included by the authors. Some associations were detected between whether providers desired certain training topics and their agreement with specific barriers. Providers’ responses highlight the pressing need for policy and training to support the sexual rights and autonomy of people with IDD. Specific recommendations for training content and format are provided.