My Rights My Life Is an inclusive and accessible healthy relationships and safer sexuality curriculum for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It contains 30 weekly, one-hour classes on healthy relationships, consent, dating, boundaries, Internet safety, safer sexuality, and other topics. SAFE Disability Services staff is available to provide training on how to facilitate the curriculum and technical support. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sophie Benitez
Disability Services Education and Training Specialist
To go through the SAFE curriculum, it was very fun and interesting to learn information about healthy relationships, boundaries, Internet safety, dating, safety in the community, and the relationship map, and also the healthy relationship toolbox with tools about saying no to show your boundaries to people of what things you're comfortable with and what things you're not comfortable and ok with.
In the SAFE class there were activities and games to help the students learn. I practice the healthy relationships toolbox statements at home and even at work. SAFE classes are important because there is a lot of pieces of detailed information that they teach that students in high school don’t learn about. Like in high school you learn about what sex is, but not as broadly and detailed and also as true. And in high school the students didn't have a class about consent, and boundaries, and healthy relationships, the healthy relationship toolbox tools, safety on the internet, safety in the community, pregnancy and STI prevention, dating, and also different types of relationships.
In the SAFE class there were activities and games to help the students learn. One question was whether you are safer if you don't date. That is really false, even though many people think that that's true. If you don't date someone, you still need to be aware of your safety in the community. That's the real world reality of unsafety and danger, and there's always bad people out there, whether you're in a relationship and dating or not. The healthy relationship tools help people to be safer in different circumstances and situations.
As a Disability Services staff at SAFE, my vision is to hopefully be able to take the SAFE classes to all of the school districts in Texas. Students in school from elementary all the way until high school and then transition classes need to learn the SAFE classes curriculum topics: with modifications for different age groups as needed and the relevancy of what things they are going through at that point in their lives.
Sophie Benitez is a Disability Services Education and Training Specialist who took part in SAFE’s My Rights My Life classes after graduating from high school. In this blog, Sophie writes about their experience and vision for other students.