Janice Slattery has had a long involvement with work on women’s health, sexuality, relationships and self-advocacy in Australia for people with an intellectual disability. Janice was a founding member of the REINFORCE self- advocacy group for over thirty years. She also worked as a peer educator for ten years in the early 1990s’ in the ground-breaking peer education program ‘Paps I Should’, a cervical health program ran by Women’s Health West, and then on ‘Breast for Me’ also ran by Women’s Health West.
In 2011-2012, Janice was involved in the research that led to the development of Sexual Lives & Respectful Relationships through work on Living Safer Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at LaTrobe University from the late 1990s to 2001. Janice worked as a peer educator trainer in this program until her retirement in 2016. This involved training the sites that were set up in Tasmania, Bendigo, Gippsland and Geelong and working as part of the Deakin University program team when the program moved to Deakin University in 2015.
Janice is also an author and has a chapter in an edited international book about women with intellectual disabilities called ‘Women with intellectual disabilities finding a place in the world’ (Traustadottir, R., & Johnson, K.,2000). Over almost two decades of involvement in the body of work that is now Sexual Lives & Respectful Relationships Janice has presented at conferences in the USA, Iceland and Sweden and at many conferences in Australia.
Janice is a much respected and important part of the SL&RR program history and has been a great leader and spokeswoman for the rights of women with an intellectual disability. She remains an inspiration to us all in our work.
The Inaugural SL&RR award names after Janice Slattery will be presented at the 2018 SL&RR conference on the 26th October to a SL&RR Peer Educator or Program Partner who has shown outstanding contribution to their site in 2018.