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Inclusive and accessible sex education is hard to find - but there are serious issues which need to be discussed. Emily Yates, 25, a travel writer, presenter and businesswoman, writes about what it's like to be young and disabled. The Paralympics went a long way in changing perceptions for the better in linking disability and sport. They use wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, are of shorter stature or have hearing and visual impairments — but the sport comes first. Disabled women are almost three times as likely to be sexually abused as their non-disabled peers and yet those of us with disabilities are still entering lessons and workshops that are not kitted out for our understanding. I was in a taxi, my wheelchair was in the boot and the taxi driver was totally inappropriate and very suggestive. I reported him but it highlighted the situations you can find yourself in if you have a disability.
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I have now been dating Ali, who is a C6 quadriplegic, for a little over a year and a half. You may know her from the Quirky Quad Diaries blog www. Miami bound! This past September, we were all packed and on the road for a three-week vacation. As I was driving, swerving the morning traffic while sipping my coffee and managing to find a good station to listen to, Ali was making phone calls and scheduling plans. After a short stop in Orlando and the several hour drive further south, we arrived in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, just around the time she had put the finishing touches on our schedule of places to go, things to eat, and people to see. By the time our third day rolled around, Ali had arranged for her friend Deborah Davis, who runs Push Living Magazine, to meet us for an early evening dinner at this fantastic tiki-hut beach-bar, nestled behind some city buildings, alongside a marina. Between the laid-back, beachy vibe and the ambient smells of shellfish and salty air swirling around us, Ali had picked the perfect venue. Deborah and her date had arrived shortly after Ali and I had found a suitable table, positioned in a spot where the sea wind and the evening sun were most soothing. We were able to listen to some live music over a light dinner which later led to splashing a few drinks and jokes as the evening grew long.
Many people perceive the physically disabled to be hugely different from them. This isn't the case. When it comes to sex and dating we're just the same. Sometimes we just need to take a painkiller, or avoid certain positions. Here are 19 issues on the subject of sex and dating that myself and a number of my disabled girl friends are tired of addressing…. You may mean well but trust me that's not how it will come across if you phrase it as above. Next time try, 'Do you have a boyfriend'?