A list of virtual gatherings and in-person festivals and conferences that feature exhibitors and workshops on disability and sex education. Read on for disability events and online communities that welcome discussion on sexual health and pleasure.
SexTech TO Mixer
Date: June 27, 2023, @ 7 pm
Location: Rivoli, 334 Queen St West Toronto, Canada
The SexTech TO networking event takes place on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the Rivoli, located at 334 Queen St W, Toronto.
This wheelchair-accessible networking event in Toronto is designed specifically for professionals in the sex tech industry and related fields,
One of the featured guest speakers at SexTech TO is Andrew Gurza, the founder of disability-focused sextech startup Bump’n. Gurza is a wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy and a well-known disability consultant. He’s appeared in mainstream media on news programs and in fictional TV shows such as the rebooted Queer As Folk. Gurza has been outspoken about his own experiences with sex and disability, in addition to celebrating as an adult performer and content creator.
Andrew will bring his unique perspective and insights to the discussion, shedding light on the intersection of disability and sextech. His expertise will contribute to a thought-provoking dialogue, inspiring attendees to explore innovative solutions that cater to the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities.
Joining Andrew on stage is Lady Pim, a sex educator and Professional Dominant. Together, they will delve into an exploration of the current trends, opportunities, and challenges within the sextech industry. Afterwards, attendees will have the opportunity to network and socialize with others.
Tickets are available to buy online at Eventbrite or cash-only at the door for CAD$20.
Date: July 6 to 7, 2023
Location: ExCeL London (Hall N4)
Disability Expo calls itself “UK’s leading person-focused event for people with lived experience of disability.”
With hundreds of exhibitors present, participants can explore a diverse array of equipment provisions, including the latest innovations in independent living and mobility aids, as well as cutting-edge technologies.
On the main stage, there will be entertainment such as product demonstrations, an inclusive fashion show, dance performances, musicians, and comedy acts. The People’s Panel provides a forum-style theater where influential panelists, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Shani Dhanda, and Mik Scarlet, will discuss pressing issues and key topics related to disabilities.
The Gaming Zone, powered by Adapt-IT, allows attendees to try out the latest assistive gaming technology, participate in competitions, watch Twitch streamers, and test their skills in retro or modern games.
EmployAble, sponsored by Amazon, offers insights into the latest products and software that can assist with work, connecting with DEI leads from inclusive companies, and attending talks on flexible working, career building, and selling skills.
The Have-A-Go program, in partnership with Phab, provides inclusive sports and activities for people of all abilities, including taster sessions in Wheelchair Basketball, Wheelchair Rugby, Boccia, and drama workshops.
Date: March 20 to 21, 2024
Location: NEC Birmingham, United Kingdom
Pre-registration is open for Naidex 2024, the 51st year of one of the flagship events for the disability community in the United Kingdom. Held at National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, the next show is scheduled for March 20 and 21, 2024.
Naidex provides a platform for industry experts and organizations to showcase the latest innovations and developments in the field of disability and rehabilitation.It features a range of products, services, and information for people with disabilities, as well as for their carers, families, and healthcare professionals.
In 2022 and 2021, Hot Octopuss was the lone sex toy company—and apparently first-ever—to exhibit at the annual trade show for the disability and rehabilitation sector. The brand’s PULSE line of hands-free penis strokers were a popular draw for attendees. They can be used when flaccid or erect and were developed using penile vibratory stimulation and based on research on men living with spinal cord injuries.
LoveAbilities is an annual virtual sex and disability event that has run since 2020. A 2023 date has not been set, but the past four events were promoted on Eventbrite.
The last three events were free and offered “Nibble Sessions.” These shorter events lasted no longer than two hours and featured speakers who spoke and then gave Q&A sessions.
The virtual events were organized Dr. Mitchell Tepper and Lorraine Stanley, a disability and sex training consultant from the United Kindom, and a group of volunteers.
The first LoveAbilities virtual festival took place in October 2020. This inaugural event was led by Dr. Martha Lee, a relationship counselor, sexologist, and sexuality educator from Singapore. Organizers also included Michelle Donald, a psychosexual therapist from the United Kingdom, and Dr. Mitchell Tepper, a sexuality educator and coach from the United States.
The theme of the 2021 sex and disability event was “A Celebration of Disabilities, Sexuality, Kink, and Culture.” Shared sex education information on practicing BDSM with a disability.
Love Abilities/Eventbrite shares its mission on its event page:
“People with disabilities (PWD) want access to their bodies for pleasure, love, intimacy, and reproductive rights — and we’re not giving up! Our mission? To provide people with all types of disabilities the knowledge, skills, and resources to take pleasure in their sexuality and to clear a pathway for optimal sexual expression.
“Our vision? People with disabilities will be empowered to lead the fullest sexual lives possible; and for their caregivers, lovers and allies to help support or be part of their life.”
Sins Invalid is a performance project that features artists with disabilities exploring themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body. Their performances and workshops often include discussions of sex education and sexual health.
Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute
The Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute (DSROI) his annual online event brings together scholars, activists, and practitioners to discuss issues related to disability, sexuality, and human rights. The disability event and course lasts six weeks and includes a variety of sessions on topics such as sex education, sexual health, and disability justice.
Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity – Hawaii
This symposium is hosted by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai’i and focuses on issues related to sexuality, disability, and reproductive health. The event includes a range of presentations and workshops on topics such as sex education, sexual health, and intimacy. The late and great Judy Heumann spoke at the March 2023 conference in Honolulu. Dates for 2024 have not been announced.
Sexuality and Disability Conference – Saskatchewan
In October 2022, Inclusion Saskatchewan, Creative Options Regina, and Saskatoon Sexual Health hosted a conference to discuss education and health regarding sex for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
CTV News reported that the event’s keynote speaker, Alan Martino, an assistant professor from the University of Calgary, said that people with disabilities want to have relationships. He added that sex and intimacy should not be taboo topics.
The sex and disability conference featured a panel of speakers who shared their experiences with intellectual disabilities and offered advice from their personal experiences. The speakers discussed inclusivity, sex health, and learning about feelings associated with romantic relationships and sex. The conference’s hosts emphasized the importance of educating people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers about the topic and promoting inclusivity. Conferences like this help to reduce the stigma around sex and relationships for people with disabilities and grant them the same human rights as everyone else.
#DisabledPeopleAreHot social media hashtag
The hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot is a social media movement that seeks to challenge ableist stereotypes and promote sex-positive representation of people with disabilities. The hashtag is used to celebrate the beauty, desirability, and sexuality of disabled individuals and to encourage inclusivity and acceptance of disabled bodies.
Andrew Gurza, a disability awareness consultant, writer, and podcaster, is often credited with starting the hashtag #DisabledPeopleAreHot. Gurza began using the hashtag in 2016 as part of his broader advocacy work to challenge stereotypes about disability and sexuality. He encouraged other disabled individuals to use the hashtag to share their own stories and experiences and to celebrate their sexuality and desirability.
Disability activist and writer Keah Brown started using the hashtag on Twitter in 2017 to highlight the lack of representation of disabled people in media and popular culture. The hashtag quickly gained momentum, and many disabled people began sharing photos and stories of themselves on social media using the hashtag.
The hashtag has been praised for its positive impact on disabled individuals’ self-esteem and body image and for raising awareness of disability rights and issues. However, some people have criticized the hashtag for reducing disabled individuals’ worth to their physical appearance and reinforcing societal beauty standards. Overall, the hashtag has sparked important conversations and contributed to the ongoing efforts to promote disability inclusion and representation in mainstream media and society.
Still active, the hashtag has sparked passionate discussion and racy tweets featuring erotic selfies of disabled folks. If you’re looking to find community online or snap some sexy pictures of yourself
Last updated on May 28, 2023