Public Speaking Engagements

Shawn McGill is an expert on topics related to healthy sexuality and has spoken to people and organizations around the world. She is available to share her knowledge and approaches to helping individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities navigate sexual behaviors and relationships. Shawn has also addressed different groups about gender identity issues for all people.

Here is a list of Shawn’s appearances and an example of the subjects she can discuss with your group. If you don’t see a specific topic here that you are interested in hearing about, please contact Shawn to talk about her tailoring a presentation to your needs.

The Impact of Trauma

Research and studies indicate abuse among people with disabilities is more widely prevalent than amongst the general population. Some studies conclude that at least 85% of people with disabilities are subjected to some form of trauma or abuse in their lifetime. However, resources and treatment to support a person to navigate their thoughts and feelings can prove limited, and is sometimes difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, we are forced to look at ways to understand a person’s experience and to help them feel safe and secure, so their thoughts and feelings are not manifested through challenging behaviors. This training will help caregivers and professionals to understand what trauma is, how it manifests for a person with disabilities, and how we can support a person to feel safe and secure in order to manage symptoms associated with trauma-based responses.

Presented at:
Health Care Quality Unit (HQCU), Butler, PA
Fayette Resources, Uniontown and Dubois, PA
RMPC Habilitation Services, Pittsburgh, PA
Northwestern Human Services, Pittsburgh, PA

Navigating Sexuality-A Tool for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

This presentation addresses how we can best support persons on the spectrum to understand and safely express their sexuality. This comprehensive and unique training increases the participants’ knowledge and awareness on how to best prepare your child for puberty, and how to best support your child or teen in navigating the many aspects of sexuality. You will learn educational and supportive methods to explain sexual feelings and body changes and to teach about legal and safe sexual expression.

Presented at:
Queensmill School, London, England
Bridge AFF Program, London, England
Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and Seton Hill University

Superior Human Services, Northern Cambria, PA
Fayette Resources, Uniontown and Dubois, PA

Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Understanding Gender Identity

This presentation provides information on understanding what constitutes transgenderism and gender dysphoria. It helps the participant discriminate differences between sex and gender as well as gender identity vs. sexual orientation. The participant will also learn simple strategies on how to best support someone who may identify as being transgender.

Presented at:  Hope Enterprises, Williamsport, PA

Supporting People with IDD Through the Criminal Justice System

Supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has changed and continues to change. Having a disability does not make a person exempt from facing the natural consequences of the criminal justice system. However, this is a unique and vulnerable population of people that requires specialized treatment and support. This training will discuss how the planning and support of the offender with a disability can begin, and what tools and strategies are most beneficial in reducing the risk of re-incarceration. The training will also help the participant learn more about specialized court systems, working with the criminal justice system, and various laws and bills specific to the USA and PA that govern successful community integration.

Presented at:
Milestone HCQU, Butler PA
Philadelphia Regional Conference on Developmental Disabilities, Philadelphia, PA

Managing Risk for Problematic Sexual Behaviors

This training provides an overview of the evaluation and treatment of both adult and juvenile sexual offenders who are diagnosed with an intellectual disability, or who are co-morbidly diagnosed with an intellectual disability and mental health disorder. Participants will gather a firm understanding of how to effectively evaluate risk correlated with sexual offending behavior, as well as how to best treat and support the person through recovery. We teach participants the correct legal and clinical terminology used in treatment, as well as specific patterns that distinguish adult and juvenile offenders.

Presented at:
Justice Related Services, Pittsburgh, PA
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Uniontown, PA
RMPC Habilitation Services, Pittsburgh, PA
InVision Human Services, Pittsburgh, PA
Northwestern Human Services, Bedford, PA
InVision Human Services, Pittsburgh and Reading, PA
Pennsylvania Advocacy & Resources, Harrisburg, PA
Washington County MH/MR, Washington, PA
Philadelphia Regional Conference on Developmental Disabilities, Philadelphia, PA

Relationships & Dating

Relationships are a natural human experience and those with disabilities very often express the need and desire to fulfill this basic human need. The purpose of this session is to help those with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorders learn more about critical skills needed in order to safely and successfully navigate relationships.

Presented at:
Fayette Resources, Elizabeth, PA
Achieving in Higher Education AHEADD, Pittsburgh, PA

Sexuality & Dementia

This talk underscores the understand that all humans have a fundamental need for sexual expression as well as a sense of intimacy, love and belonging. We explore how dementia affects the brain regarding sexual feelings, behaviors, and inhibitions, and how to respond to these feelings.

Healthy vs. Problematic Sexuality for People with Autism: Keynote Speaker

Anyone living with or supporting a person with ASD will learn from this presentation what might cause problematic sexual behaviors and how to address them, as well as basic skills to support people with ASD to display safe and legal expressions of sexuality. Learn how people with ASD can establish and maintain relationships, and challenge and work through your own morals, values and ethics as they relate to sexuality.

Presented at:
St. Francis University DiSepio Institute, Loretto, PA

Implementing Positive Approaches in Service Delivery

This presentation provides an opportunity to learn simple and creative ways for supporters to fully listen to and understand the perspective of the person with a disability. Learn how to identify and focus on what is critically important to the person, how to identify core issues, and how to offer support and help to the person by checking in and following their lead, rather than by making assumptions and getting in the way.

Presented at:
Pennsylvania Lifesharing Conference, State College, PA
Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA
Philadelphia Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania Advocacy & Resources, Harrisburg, PA

Training Fees

Conference Speaking: $500 per day plus travel costs
Keynote Speaker: $800 per day plus travel costs
Staff/Professional Training:  $100/hour plus travel costs (must be within 60 miles of zip code 15223, otherwise the flat rate of $500 is applied per training.)

Travel Fees:

  • Round trip airfare
  • All rental car fees
  • .56 cents per mile for vehicle use
  • up to $200/night hotel costs
  • up to $10/day breakfast costs
  • up to $15/day lunch costs
  • up to $25/day dinner costs

*receipts will be included in the reimbursement request. Invoices are sent once per month.