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Art Exhibition: Illuminating a Hidden Narrative

Exploring how youth with disabilities navigate sexuality across healthcare settings

Welcome to our digital art exhibition!

Due to COVID-19, the physical art exhibition has been postponed to a later date, please stay tuned!

About the Exhibition 

Welcome to the Illuminating exhibition. Illuminating is a physical and digital art exhibition that shows how young adults living with disabilities in Toronto feel about navigating their sexuality in healthcare settings. The young adults involved were aged 18 – 25 and identified as living with a visible or invisible disability.

This exhibition was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Connection Program and the Kimel Family Opportunities Fund through the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation. The Illuminating exhibition is part of a broader series of activities, including a Connection Day on April 28th, 2021. The Connection Day will bring together young adults with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, healthcare providers, researchers, and other community members to share information about sexuality and disability, identify topics needing more research, and discuss how we can start creating resources on sexuality and disability. The day will include both research and lived experience talks, small-group discussions, and art activities. Afterward, we will hold Creation Workshops to start designing the resources in more detail.

Aims of Illuminating

The broad aim of the Illuminating exhibition is to reduce the stigma surrounding sexuality for youth with disabilities so it can become a more accepted discussion in healthcare settings.

We would like like you to view the artistic creations and consider how you think about disability and sexuality. As well, our team wanted to convey the importance of Illuminating being a safe space where
everyone feels accepted and respected. We hope we have created a space that is anti-ableist, anti-homophobic, and decolonizing. Feel free to come to the space as you are.

Through the exhibition, we have provided questions for you to reflect upon.

Reflection Questions

Please reflect on your own experience navigating your sexuality within a healthcare settings. Did you have any success? Did you face any barriers? What sexuality resources do you wish you could have had
at the time?

What do we mean by 'Sexuality'?

The World Health Organization describes sexuality as a core component of human nature and a human right. Sexuality includes how people view themselves and others, feelings about their body, respecting diversity, consent, and developing healthy relationships (including friendships). Sexuality does not just refer to sexual intercourse and reproduction.