Full course description
Individuals with disabilities who engage in sexual misconduct or harmful sexual behavior face daunting challenges when attempting to successfully gain and maintain meaningful employment within their respective communities. The struggle to maintain community engagement, a factor that is proven to reduce recidivism of sexual offending behavior, is often an overwhelming struggle for those affected by mental health disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, or personality disorders) neurological conditions (e.g., learning disabilities, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and autism spectrum disorders), and traumatic brain injuries that have been undiagnosed or unsuccessfully treated for varying reasons. Despite a substantial body of research demonstrating those who commit sexual offenses are generally less likely to reoffend, pervasive misconceptions about sex offenders exist in the United States and often contribute to poor outcomes for these individuals who are often in need of specialized treatment to address mental health issues, social skills deficits, difficulties with relationships, and in some cases significant paraphilic disorders. Typically, treatment approaches for individuals who commit sexual offenses appropriately focus on the prevention of future sexual offense behavior. Unfortunately, this often means individuals who commit these offenses infrequently receive targeted information related to their disabling condition, maintaining healthy relationships, and gaining meaningful employment and housing. Understandably, mandated sex offender treatment should focus on prevention; however, those convicted of sexual offenses need assistance in developing appropriate social skills and meaningful employment in an effort to facilitate prevention and general community safety. In this workshop, various pathways to sexual offending will be reviewed with a particular emphasis on evidence-based strategies that can be adapted to assist employment providers in the provision of meaningful, vocational supports for their clients with disabilities who engage in sexual misconduct.