What happens at a Real Talk Event

Pizza Party

People arrive and are welcomed by the facilitators. While we wait for everyone to arrive, there are some activities to get people thinking about the subjects we’ll be discussing.

Once everyone has arrived, the facilitators lead some brief introductions. Then we begin screening video episodes from the Real Talk video catalog. After each episode, we check in with everyone about whether the things discussed in the videos are interesting or relevant to them. We invite discussion, reflection, and questions.

Pizza arrives near the end. Folks take a quick break for a bite and some casual chat, then it’s back to more episodes, discussion, reflection, questions, and answers.

Afterwards (if they want to) people have the opportunity to film themselves asking questions or giving feedback on the event. Here’s an example of what that looks like. If someone films themselves, we check in with them and their caregivers afterwards by email to see if they’d be ok with us posting their video on our web page. (We NEVER post a video without a person’s written permission, and if someone ever changes their mind about a video, we’ll take it down.)

Tough Cookies

Tough Cookies is a Real Talk event specifically for female-identified folks.

Women with a cognitive disability meet to casually decorate cookies, share stories about their favourite female heroes throughout history, watch some Real Talk videos, and participate in a conversation facilitated by a certified sexual health educator.

Please note – if you want a family member, friend, or staff member to come along and support you at the Tough Cookies event that’s great. They don’t need to register, they can just show up with you.

Our goal with each event is to provide an encouraging, inclusive and comfortable space for folks to honestly share about love, dating, sex and relationships. What are people’s experiences? Hopes? Dreams? Frustrations? Disappointments?

Supporter’s Workshop

Do you support someone with a cognitive disability? Does the subject of sexuality ever come up? Do you find these conversations uncomfortable? Or are you comfortable with the subject matter but not sure about your organization’s policies? Or does it seem like bringing up the subject might lead to inappropriate behaviours, expectations, or other headaches? Or are you really good at providing this kind of support and willing to share your skills with others?

Come join the conversation! We’ll share success stories, concerns, strategies, and resources. The focus of these events is not about becoming a sexual health expert. It’s about:

  • Increasing comfort with the subject
  • Finding new ways of holding space during intense conversations
  • Learning how and where to get reliable sexual health information
  • Examining barriers that are specific to people with cognitive disabilities when it comes to getting sexual health support.
  • Examining concerns / fears that are specific to supporters of people with cognitive disabilities.
  • Thinking about ways around these barriers.
  • Sharing stories of failures, fears, successes and celebrations.

Each workshop is facilitated by a certified sexual health educator who has spent over two decades working in the community living sector.