Feature Articles

FPAHK launches Hong Kong’s first sexuality education mini website for the mentally challenged

Ref Number: ESEAOR201307b

  • Date12 Jul 2013
  • Category FPA Message
  • Targets Students Youth Educators Public
  • AuthorFPAHK
  • Topic Sexuality Education for the Mentally Challenged

The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) launched the “Interactive Sexuality Education Resources for the Mentally Challenged” on 12 July 2013, a first-of-its-kind Chinese language mini website in Hong Kong catering to the needs of children, teenagers and adults with mild to moderate grades of intellectual disabilities in Hong Kong.

Like all young people, the mentally challenged can benefit from sexuality education to foster a positive self-image, sexual attitudes and social skills. However, there has been a lack of local sexuality education resources for this group while relevant overseas resources are unsuitable for local use due to cultural differences. In 2006, FPAHK produced a “Sexuality Education Teaching Kit for the Mentally Challenged” which generated positive feedback but could not meet the great demand from many organizations due to its limited supply. In 2010, FPAHK obtained funding from the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped (QEFMH) to develop appropriate interactive learning and teaching resources tailored to the capacity of local mentally challenged youth. FPAHK expressed its gratitude to Mr Alan Wong, Chairman of the Council of QEFMH for his presence at the launch as a special guest to show his support for this project.

At the launch, the mini website was demonstrated to about 50 attending social workers, teachers, therapists, healthcare professionals and carers. Based on FPAHK’s years of experience, use of audio-visual materials effectively enhances the concentration, comprehension and learning of the mentally challenged. This interactive website features “scenario animations” based on everyday life situations which help learners project themselves into the situations to learn effectively. Scenario-based multiple choice questions are also used to stimulate their thinking. Covering the five topics of “sexual drive”, “between sexes”, “love”, “sexual abuse” and “puberty”, this mini website carries 15 scenario animations, each supplemented with an interactive teaching tool and teaching tips for workers and parents to hold group discussions. There is also information on the basic knowledge and skills in conducting sexuality education for the mentally challenged.

Ms Grace Lee, FPAHK’s Education Manager said, “With the rapidly increasing popularity of the Internet, social media, video chat, smartphones with built-in camera and social applications, the mentally challenged individuals are at greater risks than the non-disabled youths of being exposed to pornography or sexual abuse through these channels. Therefore this mini website includes some relevant ‘scenario animations’, for example, when coming across an pornographic website, or being persuaded by a friend to have intimate behaviours and take photographs for posting onto the Internet for sharing, to teach them how to stay safe online and the skills to reject sexual requests.”

The mini website is embedded in the FPAHK’s Sexuality Education Website at www.famplan.org.hk/sexedu/mcedu. Its content is also reproduced in 2,000 copies of DVD ROM for distributing to special schools and service organizations. The resources are expected to reach an estimated 3,000 parents and 2,000 carers, teachers, occupational therapist, etc. in 500 local organizations including special schools, parent associations, day activities’ centres, sheltered workshops and specialized home-based training and support teams. Two posters with key messages on “puberty” and “self-protection against sexual abuse” respectively will be distributed together with the DVD ROM.

The mini website was designed and produced with expert advice from a group of workers from special schools and agencies including Buddhist To Chi Fat She Yeung Yat Lam Memorial School, Wai Ji Christian Service - Yuen Long District Support Centre, Hong Chi Morninghill School, Tsui Lam and ELCHK, Kwai Chung District Support Centre. Use of the mini website has been demonstrated and tested with positive feedback in these organizations.