Sexuality & Disabilities Advocacy Panel
About Tuppy Owens
- Winner of the Innovation Award of Sexual Health and Human Rights UNESCO 2015
- Finalist (Lifetime Achievement) in the Directory of Social Change Awards 2015 and 2018
- Winner of Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Lifestyles Awards 2015
I have worked with disabled people since 1979 when I was a publisher and one of my distributors told me he was losing his sight. This was my greatest nightmare so I vowed when he lost his sight I would support him.
When he lost his sight, he lost his beautiful girlfriend and most of his friends! I took him to parties and described the women there and he told me which one he liked the sound of. I took him over and introduced her. I did this several times and we agreed it was fun and maybe we should start a club for disabled people to have fun. We called it ‘Outsiders’. We never thought it would last, but it is still thriving today!
Outsiders is for physically and socially disabled people to make friends, enjoy peer support and find partners. Of course there are more men than women but they are a great lot – having local lunches (or Zoom meetings during the pandemic!).
After Outsiders, I created SHADA – the Sexual Health and Disability Alliance for people to discuss disability and support fisabled people (including learning disabled). We meet twice a year in London. It is run by Claire de Than and Helen Dunman
I created SHADA International but very few people joined or wrote for it and I gave up!
Then I created the TLC-Trust for disabled people to find responsible sex workers. After that I created the Sexual Respect Tool Kit for doctors and other health professionals to feel more comfortable working with disabled people.
I was asked to write a book about my work by Jessica Kingsley and it’s called ‘Supporting Disabled People with their Sexual Lives.
The Outsiders Club www.outsiders.org.uk
Sexual Health and Disability Alliance https://shada.org.uk/
TLC Trust www.tlc-trust.org.uk