First Georgia’s Armstrong State University released a draft policy saying students with disabilities can’t consent to sex. When they responded, “Oh yes we can!” the university slightly tweaked its new policy, but some with disabilities say it’s still troubling.
As of July 16, the policy reads, “In addition, persons under the age of 16 and persons who have a physical or mental impairment and are unable to communicate are unable to give consent.” The new policy adds in the words “and are unable to communicate,” and Armstrong is very sorry for the mistake.
“It was never our intention to imply that physically disabled individuals are unable to provide consent,“ says Allison Hersh, a university spokesperson. “We deeply regret this error.”
As a woman with both a significant disability and an advanced degree, the wording still troubles Leanne Beers, who has muscular dystrophy as well as a master’s in public relations and health communications. “It’s still very much implying that people with physical and mental disabilities cannot give consent,” she says. “I honestly believe part of that stems from the lack of education and knowledge t