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Rachel

Rachel Wotton

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Community > Social Change
Social Welfare > Disabilities
To review training programs for sex workers providing services to clients with disability - UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark
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Findings & Recommendations

One of the primary aims of this Fellowship was to increase the capacity of myself, to be able to facilitate and expand training workshops for Australian sex workers, via Touching Base. It is important to be able to facilitate learning and development in a variety of ways, utilising different resources, while presenting information that will be relevant and interesting to participants. I have returned to Australia with a broad range of new and informative resources, including a number of YouTube videos, to increase the diversity of the information that Touching Base can offer.

I wanted my Masters dissertation to not just be a theoretical discussion but a practical resource that allows people to be directed to useful, thought provoking and educational resources in the areas of disability, sexuality, sex work and the intersection between sex workers and their clients with disability. I would like the results of this Fellowship to also have an ongoing positive application. As well as sharing resources and knowledge with Touching Base I will be developing new sections of my personal website to create an expanding library of references and links to inform people about resources they may not be aware of.

Spending quality time with different trainers, academics, organisations, sex workers and sexual assistants involved gave me opportunities to ask thorough, pertinent questions relevant to the field. It also allowed for the development of meaningful and ongoing conversations while sharing 38 resources, offering translations and speaking about policies, legislation, education, resource development and community engagement. While I encountered some very different and diverse views to my own, I certainly acknowledge that every organisation’s philosophy and practice has its merit. Everyone I met shared a common interest and desire to find opportunities for people with disability to have access to supportive, respectful, enjoyable and accessible paid sexual services. Furthermore, their dedication towards providing further education, training, support and awareness for those who chose to provide such services cannot be faulted.

While more detailed analysis and discussions will occur privately within specific sex work communities in Australia, topics of interest include:

  • Training workshops: length of training, costs, locations, topics covered, assessment tools and approaches
  • Trainers / presenters: guest presenters, personal experience of trainers
  • Participants of training: who is allowed to participate, suitability of potential candidates
  • Confidentiality: advertising and location of training
  • Different roles – or perceived differences – between sex workers and sexual assistants
  • Referral pathways
  • Advertising and websites
  • Pricing structures and options
  • Sexual services offered
  • Services offered by organisations
  • Levels of collaboration between organisations: sex work / disability / sexual assistant/
  • others
  • Laws and law reform
  • Funding (or lack thereof) 

All of these topics are highly important but the last two play a significant role in hindering the advancement of all other aspects concerning training for sex workers who are wanting to provide sexual services to clients with disability. In order to help facilitate the ongoing professional development of sex workers, I hope this Fellowship highlights the need for Government and non- government sectors to play their part in funding organisations, to develop and deliver meaningful and relevant training to all sectors.

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