Sexual Health and Disability Education (SHADE)

Sexual Health and Disability Education

What is SHADE?
SHADE offers individual and small group classes on friendships, dating, and sexuality to individuals with developmental disabilities.
What do SHADE classes cover?
Relationships are hard. We all need help sometimes.

SHADE exists to support the relationships and sexual goals of individuals with disabilities. Individuals can determine their own goals based on the following topics:

  • Feelings
  • Unhealthy/healthy relationships
  • Public vs private
  • Starting, staying in, and ending relationships
  • Sexuality and sexual health
  • Conflicts in relationships
  • Sexual abuse prevention
  • Boundaries
  • Birth control
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Sexual decision-making
Who is eligible for SHADE?

Residents of St. Louis County

  • With a diagnosis of intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism or epilepsy
  • Ages 9+
How long is the class?

Classes are generally an hour long, and sessions run 13 – 15 weeks depending on need. Contact us for details.

Where are classes held?

Classes can held for individuals or small groups (up to 8 people) in the following locations:

  • YWCA Metro Office in Olivette
  • Schools, disability agencies, other social agencies

Community presentations

Trainings and workshops are available for family members of individuals with disabilities, staff, and teacher who support individuals with disabilities, staff at domestic and sexual violence organizations and first responders such as law enforcement and medical professionals.

Training/Workshop topics can include:

  • Sexual violence
  • Supporting people with disabilities who have experienced sexual violence
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Preventing sexual abuse against people with disabilities
  • Handling disclosures: What to do after you report
  • Support sexual choices of individuals with disabilities
  • Dating and Disability
  • How to talk to your children about sexuality

If you have a training need that is not listed, please contact us about customized presentations.

How do I set up a class?

Contact Samara Lillioja at 314.531.1115, ext. 5322 or

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