Parents and Special Educators' Perspectives on the Sexuality Educational Needs of Learners with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities in Ghanaian Special Schools
Ghana , Sexuality , Education Service , IDDs
Despite the global efforts towards the inclusion of persons with disabilities in societies, Ghana's Educational Strategic Program is yet to include sexuality education for learners with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDDs) in special schools. Current social structures also exist to limit formally recognised sexual and reproductive access to persons with IDDs in Ghana. That notwithstanding, persons with IDDs have sexual needs like their non-disabled counterparts. In order to promote the sexualities of persons with IDDs in Ghana, this study sought to explore how parents and special educators construct and address the sexuality educational needs of learners with IDD in special schools. Realist Social constructionism and Sankofa (an anticolonial framework) served as the foundations for the study. It therefore acknowledged the role of impairment as a material reality as interacting with social realities. Taking into account the historical social, cultural, political and economic fabrics, which frame Ghanaian societies, and that parents and educators who are the primary agents of socialisation and advocates for these persons are a part of these communities, the study realised that learner's sexuality educational needs do not exist in a vacuum. They are constructed through experiences and interactions, with social and economic forces as well as parents' expectations for the future. The study took place in 5 out of 10 regions of the country and involved mostly interviews with parents and special educators. It is expected that the lessons gathered will be useful for the designing and implementation of sexuality education programmes for learners with IDD in Ghanaian special schools -programmes that resonate with the value systems of Ghanaian societies and serve as a step towards promotion of the sexualities of persons with IDDs in Ghana.