People with disabilities could be funded for sex therapy under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) following an unprecedented decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Last week, a woman with multiple sclerosis requested sex therapy to be covered by her NDIS plan, which was denied, but following an appeal, the AAT demonstrated the importance to people disabled from expressing themselves sexually and having a fulfilling sex life.
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) Co-Managing Director (CEO) Matthew Bowden said previous state and territory-based disability support systems have helped people with disabilities have funded access to health services. sex work and now is the time for NDIS to do it. the same.
“We congratulate the Applicant, a brave woman with a disability who is determined to have the same rights as non-disabled people to an adult sex life,” said Mr. Bowden.
âAAT’s Vice President Rayment OAM QC envisioned a specific set of circumstances for this disabled woman, but we hope he will now provide the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with a framework to develop a much needed policy. in this domain.
“We are delighted that the AAT has championed the rights of people with disabilities to sexual expression, which would allow ‘reasonable and necessary’ support through NDIS funding to engage the services of a sex worker to obtain therapeutic results.
âPeople with disabilities should not be denied access to sex because of their disability. “
The president of the sex worker advocacy organization Touching Base, Saul Isbister, says sex therapists do not provide sex work services, but sex workers often provide therapeutic results to their clients through their services.
Mr. Isbister says: âThese services are provided by sex workers, some of whom have been trained by Touching Base to hone and further develop their skills in working with people with disabilities.
âWe maintain that every adult, disabled or not, has the right to seek consensual sexual expression. ”
People without disabilities can masturbate or find sexual partners, but for some people with disabilities they do not have the same opportunities without access to sex work services.
Mr. Isbister says that for too long the issue of disability and sexuality has been a taboo subject that has been shrouded in secrecy or denial.
“In the course of our work, over the past 19 years, Touching Base has seen a remarkable transformation in the willingness of governments and the disability services industry to respond in a way that helps people with disabilities make their own choices,” explains Mr. Isbister.
NDIS Minister Stuart Robert is said to disagree with the decision and said NDIS will appeal.