Founder and CEO of Specialist Training Organisation SWAD Features in National Newspaper

Lorraine Stanley, Dorset Chamber Member and Founder and CEO of SWAD, was featured in a brilliant article in a national newspaper this week.

The article, written by Cathy Reay for the Guardian newspaper, shone a light on barriers facing disabled people in accessing sexual health services. It was entitled “A message to the NHS: disabled people like having sex, too!”, and told the story of how a routine sexual health check-up became an undignified ordeal.

Lorraine, like many other disabled people with limited mobility, balance issues, or communication challenges, has had some negative experiences of her own – as you can read in the article’s extract below:

“It took three years from receiving my cervical screening invitation to actually being able to have it,” says Lorraine Stanley, CEO of Sex With a Difference (SWAD), an organisation dedicated to improving access to sexual healthcare for disabled people in the UK.

The delay was caused due to a lack of examination tables with appropriate leg supports and handles. “Luckily, my results were clear, but if there had been cancerous cells present, the delay could have resulted in my having to have a more invasive treatment.”

Some background information from Lorraine for context: 28 years ago, there were massive protests by disabled people. The protests helped pressure the UK government into making it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their disability. My own lived experience, and the experiences of hundreds of disabled people I have supported through my work – shows that there are still many barriers to disabled people in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare. When we know better, we do better.
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