Mark Gordon on the Friends and Relationships Course: Teaching and learning from people with intellectual disabilities about sexuality, interdependence, and inclusion

We talk with Mark Gordon, founder of the Friends and Relationships Course, a program in New Mexico that provides classes for adults with intellectual disabilities who want to learn how to form intimate and other relationships. He talks about what he’s learned over 15 years of teaching sexuality classes, learning along with his son about the ongoing necessity for interdependence. We also discuss society’s failure to welcome and accommodate people with developmental disabilities.


00:00-01:20 Intros

01:21-03:45 Friends and Relationships course

03:46-05:27 Extraordinary and ordinary needs

05:28-10:03 Interdependency rather than dependency or independence

10:04-18:04 Roles and relationships; curriculum development

18:05-19:41 Roles of agencies

19:42-21:57 Financing systems

21:58-23:09 Advocacy and social change

23:10-26:50   Ethical community

26:51-27:30 Outro


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