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The sexuality alliance

Developing sexuality guidance and standards for professionals who support people with life-limiting conditions

“It would be helpful to capture some sexual health things within standards learning like disability, including body image, connections and sexual beings within primary and secondary education.”
People with life-limiting conditions are living longer than ever before. The Open University Sexuality Alliance is working to ensure that people with life-limiting conditions are able to live fuller lives.

For the first time, Sexuality Guidance and Standards have been developed by The Open University’s Sexuality Alliance to assist staff who support people with life-limiting conditions. The Sexuality Alliance is a partnership including Together for Short Lives, the UK charity for children and young adults with life-limiting, life threatening conditions (LLTCs), other nationally renowned charities, service users, lawyers, academics and public sector organisations in the UK.

The Open University produced a video in early 2015 in collaboration with Together for Short Lives and Rainbows Children’s and Young People’s Hospice to explore why sexuality standards and guidance for staff, young adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families are now required. The first phase of this work in 2015 was to produce the video below. This ultimately led to the production of Talking about sex, sexuality and relationships: Guidance and standards. The interim guidance and standards (pdf) were launched on December 1st 2015, and tested with seventy-five delegates who attended the launch seminar. The final Guidance and Standards are now on this web site having been tested with delegates who attended the launch seminar on December 1st. There is also a separate, two page extract outlining the Principles, Guidance and Standards.

To request a copy of either the guidance or extract, please email