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Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

Sexuality education in NSW high schools

Sexuality and sexual identity education for students with intellectual disability and autism


Presented by Prof Iva Strnadová and Julie Loblinzk

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Students with an intellectual disability and/or autism often do not receive holistic sexuality education, unlike students without a disability. According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people with a disability such as adolescent students with an intellectual disability and/or autism have a right to a quality sexuality education, with the information provided in an understandable and accessible way.

Julie Loblinzk and Iva Strnadová conducted a study about sexuality and sexual identity education for students with intellectual disability and / or autism in NSW high schools. They spoke to 11 students, 10 teachers and 9 parents about their experiences with and perceptions of sexuality education. They will present their findings, as well as recommendations.


Iva Strnadová is Professor in Special Education and Disability Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her research aims to contribute to better understanding and the improvement of the life experiences of people with disability. Combining research with advocacy is essential in her research program, which builds on supporting the self-determination (including self-advocacy) of people with intellectual disability and is grounded in an innovative inclusive research approach.

Iva Strnadová’s is a Board member and a Secretary of the Self Advocacy Sydney, Inc. She is also a Vice President of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Association for Special Education (AASE); and a member of NSW/ACT Division Committee, Australasian Society for Intellectual Disabilities (ASID).

Julie Loblinzk is a Self Advocacy Coordinator and has worked for Self Advocacy Sydney for the past 18 years in her current position. Julie has been involved with the service since 1989 in various paid staff roles and Board roles. Julie’s focus is on people with intellectual disability supporting themselves to speak up and be active in the community.

Julie Loblinzk earned a University Graduate Certificate in Health Science (Developmental Disabilities) in 2008. In 2016, she completed Cert 111 and Cert IV in Disabilities at Granville TAFE College.

Julie Loblinzk is also Adjunct Lecturer at the University of New South Wales Sydney. In her role she lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students about topics such as self-advocacy and parenting with intellectual disability. She is also involved in inclusive research and is currently working with Prof Iva Strnadová on numerous research studies.