Meetings: Next, Summaries & Photos

SHADA meetings are continually evolving, with a wide range of pioneers and professionals. We are lucky to have a human rights lawyer,  barrister, teacher and heads of home joining us. We have failed to attract the CQC, Offsted or government officials, and other charities who work with disabled people, despite being invited.

We run meetings which satisfy the demands of the members who come along, and please let us know if there is anything you need to learn or discuss or bring to a meeting. We support health and social care professionals who wish to work in this area but who don’t feel supported to do so, may be discouraged, or even forbidden by their seniors, and we try to help them open constructive dialogue with them.

If any member feels they have made unique progress, or you are stuck trying to achieve your aim, please be in touch with Tuppy on 07770 884 985 to discuss how you might contribute to the day. Please bring your own lunch, coffee etc).

Be sure to let us know if you will be attending so we can make your badge and save you a place.

Summaries of meetings held are detailed below – full minutes of each meeting are accessed using the links on the right-hand side.

The next meeting will be on Monday 19th November 2018, see below.


SHADA delegates outside LCD 2



Below is news of the future SHADA meeting and past ones to date.

28th Meeting
Monday 19th November 2018
This will take place all day, 10.30am-3pm in London
We will be focusing on updates in the law, dementia and capacity, social anxiety, and living with a progressive condition. There will be updates on the School of Sex for disabled people.

27th Meeting
Monday 12th March 2018 in London, usual time of 11am to 4pm. We will have an interesting mixture of speakers, talking about their coaching and teaching and about how to support people with Aspergers Syndrome – high functioning autism.

If you wish to attend, you need to register first so we know how many people are coming and we can make your badge.

Please note, we expect the speakers to deliver their talk uninterrupted and members who want to ask questions or make comments to put up their hand and only speak when the Chair points towards you to give you permission. Gill Leno will be taking the minutes.

25th Meeting
Tuesday 14th November 2017, 11am to 3pm in central London.
We hope to have someone from Leonard Cheshire discussing policies and practice with the rest of the group. We will be listening to researchers who are finding out all kinds of things regarding sex and disability. We will also have the amazing holistic sex worker, Matt Valentine Chase. The Learning Disability Group will report back and other topics will be discussed – watch this space.

24th Meeting

This will take place on Tuesday 14th March 2017 in London. In the morning, after we have found out about everybdy in the room, we will discuss hearing impairment with some hearing impaired individuals explaining how their particular type of hearing impairment has an impact on their relationships and sexual lives. In the afternoon we will hear someone from Enhance the UK, Leonard Cheshire and the British Society of Sexual Medicine speak about the way they support disabled people with their relationships and sexual lives and how we can all help each other and perhaps work together. There will be time for people to speak briefly on their news and new projects.

23rd Meeting

This was held in October 2017 and featured Change and news about the state of social work in the UK today.

22nd Meeting

This will be held in London on Tuesday 15th March 2016 and the focus was going to be on autism and Aspergers syndrome but we switched to a mixture of SHADA International, Tantric Sex and Sexological bodywork and teaching learning disabled students.
20160315_SHADA Conference_DSCF5763

21st Meeting

Friday 6th November 2015 in central London. This meeting will focus on the various sexual services for disabled people which exist around the work, with speakers coming from Geneva, Israel, and maybe Taiwan, as well as some speakers who work in the UK. We will learn if and how they are trained, and what kinds of things they provide.

20th Meeting

Wednesday 15th April 2015 at 11am – 4pm at an accessible venue in the Holborn area of London.

We will start finding out more about one another and hearing updates on members’ progress.

The morning will be devoted to neurological conditions and sex, with a talk about working with stroke survivors.

The afternoon will focus on sexual freedoms in residential care homes.

If anyone has special expertise in either of these areas, and would like to share their experiences with us, please be in touch and we will schedule you in.Best Group Pic

Don’t forget to let us know if you are planning to attend so that I can prepare the name badges.

19th Meeting

Friday 14th November 2014

We were happy to greet Asger Persson who had come over from Denmark and a wide range of sexual practitioners. We wished Tuppy, the SHADA founder well with her book Supporting Disabled People with their Sexual Lives, just published by Jessica Kingsley, and a happy 70th birthday.

As well as focusing on the attendees’ needs and news. We included

• discussions around  massage, hands free sex toys, sexological body work, sex work, Tantric and Taoist practices with disabled people
• ethics committee censoring research projects
• Challenging COSRT’s recommendation that sex therapists must not recommend that their clients use commercial sex. Also the inclusion of sex and disability in sex therapy training.

• Sex Education for people with PMLD

• SHADA international
• urging governing bodies to include sex and disability in training, policies and guidelines,and how to increase SHADA’s influence

To attend this meeting, register by email to Tuppy Owens on

You will need to write a paragraph explaining who you are and what you do in this area, and reasons for wanting to attend the meeting —to share, learn, find support or guidance or meet others who share your passion to support your clients in their sexual lives.

18th Meeting

Admin and speakers:


18thSHADA Best 

The 18th meeting held on April 15th focused on cerebral palsy and we listened to four very different people with cp, including a couple. Sue Newsome talked about her work enabling people with cerebral palsy to enjoy more sexual pleasure. The afternoon was devoted to discussing how to persuade governing bodies to include sex and disability in their training, guidance and policy, and the formation of a working party to delegate and carry out such change. Sue gave a report on her address in Malta and Lorna Couldrick on the OTs she met in Australia and Sweden.

17th Meeting

Delegates, speakers and personel attending the 17th Meeting in London



16th Meeting

Both Helen Dunman of Chailey Heritage Trust, a school for students with profound and multiple learning difficulties, and Jon Clugston of Hereward College gave accounts on how they support their pupils in their sexual expression. Tuppy Owens covered the recent press scandal over the Chasely residential home for disabled allowing sex workers to visit their residents. Paul Casey of the fpa told us about the training in sex and disability on offer from the fpa and that they will train on any aspect a group requests. Andy Crowe’s intentions to initiate training on the sex and disability for PAs were related in his absence.

Medical student, Natalie Barclay Klingle, spoke of her campaigning to have sex and disability including in medical training and we heard about the way Sense is not allowed to use touch to teach deafblind students about sex because of the 2003 Sexual Offences Act. Sue Newsome talked about the Outsiders new project providing sexual advocacy.


15th Meeting on 28th September 2012
chaired by Adam Thomas

This 15th Meeting brought together a dynamic board: Becky Adams who is starting Para-Doxies, agency providing sexual services for disabled people, Claire de Than, senior lecturer in human rights and criminal law at City University, Denise Banks, Director of Social Care Provision at the Chailey Heritage School and Dr Tuppy Owens.We discussed the potentials for providing disabled people with opportunities for sexual expression, and listed many ways in which disabled people, and
society gain from them meeting their sexual needs. Claire reassured everyone by telling us it was the duty of care to intervene to allow sexual expression, not intervening can make one liable, and Human Rights are central to any support of intervention.

Les Sutton spoke about his new service. He is a social worker who, through Accessible
Sexuality, provides individual support for disabled people in making applications and
challenging decisions regarding care provisions from social services, specifically with relation to sexual needs.

14th Meeting on 13th April 2012
chaired by Adam Thomas

This meeting featured Susan Quilliam: her work and life. We watched the Sexual Respect Tool Kit film. In the afternoon we heard how Alex Cowan wishes to set up a Sex and Relationship Peers Support Network and we discussed how this might be most effective.


13th Meeting on 7th October 2011
chaired by Adam Thomas

The topic was alternative ways for people with various impairments to overcome them to start on the road to successful seduction and sexual relationships.

We started with a quadriplegic man, Dominic Webb talking about his journey into making the most of his voice to enjoy sex. He is using his voice to command a sumissive woman to do fuifil her sexual dreams. A demonstration followed. The rest of the SHADA attendees then did roleplays and there was feedback.


In the afternoon, we divided into small groups to apply the same principle (list what the person has and can do and work out novel ways to use those skills to enjoy sex). Groups discussed Aspergers, Deaf-Blind, Learning Disabilities and Spina Bifida. The findings are being followed up and made into leaflets.


Progress with the Sexual Respect Tool Kit was that it is almost ready for testing and will anybody who would like to use it in their workplace and give us feedback, please step forward.


12th Meeting on  8th April 2011
chaired by Adam Thomas

Key Presentations on Spasms, Spasticity: Michele McDonald on spinal injury, Dominic Webb on baclofen pumps, Alex Cowan on MS and Eleni Stephani and Sarah Jones-Nash spoke about the difficulties some women with cerebral palsy experiences with spasms and vaginal intercourse

Other Presentations:
Kate Copstick on what it means to have Lupus and want a sex life.
Jonathan Werren, Outsiders Trustee on the Outsiders/TLC Trust Freedom of Information Survey on Local Authorities’ attitudes to their disabled people enjoying sex and hiring sex workers;
Alex Cowan and Tuppy Owens on the creation of a Sexual Respect Tool Kit;
Sue Lennon on the inclusion of discussing sexual activities in the holistic care of cancer patients;
Anji Page from Sense on the lack of success in campaigning against the Sexual Offences Act.
Mel and Steve Halacre on the development of their Spokz service of sex toys for disabled people.

Small Group Discussions: 

(a) spasms and spasticity

(b) the law


11th Meeting:  8th October 2010

Presentations on fatigue: Alex Cowan on the effect of MS-related fatigue on her sex life, and Victoria McKenzie on ME-related fatigue and relationships. 
Presentation: Alex, Tuppy and Roger Clements on the creation of a Sexual Respect Tool Kit. 
Small Group Discussions:
(a) policy on sex for residential homes with service users who have both learning and physical disabilities
(b) a leaflet on fatigue
(c) the Sexual Respect Tool Kit. 
 Lorna Couldrick on her chapter based on her workshop on the positive aspects of sex for the International Development Workshop.

10th Meeting:  8th March 2010

Presentation: Zoe-Grace Cozens on her business: Leapfrog Training which provides sex health policies and sex and disability training courses. 
Lorna Couldrick on her Sexual Development and Empowerment Workshop.
Discussion: The impact of the SHADA/RSM Conference
SHADA and the way we function.


9th Meeting : 12th October 2009

Presentation: Kate Wilkinson from Chaseley Trust on Neurological Conditions and their effect on sexual function.
Presentation: Mary Clegg of the  British Association of Sex Educators on sex toys for disabled people.
Presentation: Outsiders’ ‘Inner Nature’ day for people with spinal injuries to swap notes on sexual pleasure
Presentation: Lorna Couldrick on her visit to Holland to find out what sexual services are available to disabled people.


8th Meeting: 19th March 2009

Summary to follow

7th Meeting: 5th November 2008

Presentation: Elizabeth Molligan from the Innovative Projects team at Leonard Cheshire, on their In Touch’ Project researching what information is available on sex for young disabled adults (18-24 year olds)

Presentation: Dr Petra Boynton, proposing an online survey on sex and disability training, training packs and a conference

Presentation: Lorna Coudrick – Strengths and Limitations of the PLISSIT model: a new model proposed

Presentation: Agnes Boes – Setting up a Sexual Health Service for People with Physical Disabilities in the Highlands of Scotland


6th Meeting: 16th April 2008

Presentation: Steve Shears from Headway ~ dealing with sexual disinhibition after brain injury


5th Meeting: 22nd November 2007

Presentation: Graham Jowett – Director of Education at Treloar Trust on his policy for offering young disabled people freedom to choose, at his residential college

Presentation: Ariana Chevalier on the health benefits of a sexual outlet and
the practical aspects of sex workers visiting care homes

Presentation: John Blandford – Criminal Lawyer, specialising in supporting those working in sex work, speaking on the legal issues of helping disabled people accessing sex workers, especially in relation to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.


4th Meeting: 30th March 2007

Presentation: Helena Barrow, Registered Manager of the Chaseley Trust in Eastbourne on the sexual issues in a residential home for physically disabled adults

Presentation:  Jo Holloway and Adam Thomas ~ Access to Health Project, The Elfrida Society on their work with learning disabled adults


Presentation: Debbee Arthur, Tamanna Choudhury, Sylvia Brookstein and William Donovan ~ Respond and the Respond Action Group on Respond’s work with learning disabled people, bullying, abuse and sexual relationships.


3rd Meeting: 13th October 2006

Presentation: Sex, Blindness and Visual Impairment, initiated by Sue Nathan, Outsiders’ Membership Secretary and led by Wayne Chapman,  of RNIB helpline, Barry Jones RNIB advocacy service and  Christine Thomas RNIB helpline manager

Presentation: Simon Parritt on his experience of working at SPOD and as a psychosexual counsellor


2nd Meeting: 12th May 2006

Presentation: Lorna Couldrick MSc, DipCOT, CertEd, MBACP (SnrAccred) on OT’s and other professionals dealing with disabled people’s sexual issues:

Presentation: Ilaria Primoni on The Sexual Dysfunction Association


1st Meeting: 7th June 2005

Discussion on how members and and disabled people will benefit from SHADA

Invitation to compare helpline policies

Presentaton:  Ana Martinez on the Sex Education Forum