What is SMARTS?

"Supporting Me About Rights To Sexuality"!

Persons with intellectual disabilities (PwID) & Persons with mental health conditions (PwMHC), like any other human being, have sexual desires, need affective relationships & freedom to express their sexuality. In this regard, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities (UNCRPD), ratified by the European Union, states that People with Disabilities have the same human rights as everyone in all areas of life. These rights include rights related to sexuality. However, commonly, people with intellectual disabilities & mental health conditions have lacked an integral sexual education & support to help them in their sexual lives.

This context is slowly changing. Policy makers & key stakeholders are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of addressing the sexuality of PwID & PwMHC as an inherentright. However, in spite of the fact that lot of excellent educative material has been produced to raise awareness & train with regards to sexuality, it seems to have had a low impact so far with regards to how PwID & PwMHC are actually able to practise sexual activities & express their sexuality in whatever way they choose.

The SMARTS project aims to better identify the support needs of persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health conditions in the field of sexuality. Specifically, this MOOC (online training course) aims develop the care providers, to facilitate PwD to make supported decisions in the field of sexuality. The expected result will be, on the one hand, for persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health conditions to feel more empowered to make decisions with regards to their sexuality and, on the other hand, for supporters to feel better equipped and skilled to support decision making.

There are two modules included in this course. The course is aimed towards professionals already working in Supported Decision Making, or who have a knowledge of Supported Decision Making through their work. Module one centres around General Supported Decision Making and Module two is centred around Supported Decision Making and Sexuality. While learners are not obliged to complete both courses, both include useful information and resources that would aid them in their role. The course is also accompanied by guidelines for family carers, support professionals and service managers, available in the EASPD Knowledge Hub's E-Learning section by clicking here. A toolkit of additional resources is also available through the Knowledge Hub by clicking here.

When taking the course, you cann use the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the page to navigate through each section and activity. You can mark each section done to record your progress. You can also download all the pdf files related to this course, to review in your own time.

For more information on the course or the SMARTS project, you can contact Nina Kozlowitz, EASPD Learning and Development Officer, by emailing nina.kozlowitz@easpd.eu