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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Supporting Individuals' Right to Sexual Knowledge
Mary Rita Weller, PhD

Many adults with disabilities are ill prepared to engage in healthy intimate relationships due to their lack of experience and support. Conversations that support knowledge and understanding about relationships and sexuality, better prepare individuals for consensual relationships. States have their own interpretation of consent and anyone with a cognitive disability is legally condoned from engaging in sexual relationships.

Participants will be able to:
1. Identify several resources that are available that helps to guide the discussion regarding support for adults with disabilities to have healthy intimate relationships
2. State activities that promote healthy intimate relationships for adults with disabilities.

Mary Rita Weller, Ph.D., LSW, has been in clinical practice for 20 years. Currently, she is a full-time assistant professor at Kutztown University’s Department of Social Work. Her area of clinical and research expertise is regarding individuals with disabilities and sexual minorities such as gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. and issues around poverty. Mary Rita holds degrees in social work and a doctoral degree in education with a concentration in human sexuality. She is licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in social work.

She has a published article in the journal Advances in Applied Sociology (2014) and has written several chapters in M. Odekon (Ed.) Encyclopedia of World Poverty (2nd Ed.) (2015) and an article titled “Providing Clinical Support to Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”, in The Pennsylvania Social Worker. National Association of Social Workers – Pennsylvania (2014, Summer).

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