CP State is honored to host a series on navigating dating and relationships for people with disabilities. These sessions will begin on February 23 and are presented by Kathy O’Connell, Director of Radiant Abilities. Radiant Abilities provides resources and products for people with disabilities in the areas of self-esteem, relationships, and personal empowerment.
Training #1: Successful Dating and Healthy Relationships for People with Disabilities
Date: February 23, 2021
Description: This training is a look at the social and emotional challenges of dating and relationships for people with disabilities. Learn how to transform societal beliefs about disability and sexuality, how to foster self-esteem and confidence, create healthy boundaries and effectively support someone to develop successful dating and healthy relationships.
Training #2: Four Steps to Successful Dating with a Disability
Date: March 2, 2021
Description: In this training you will learn how to actually apply the principles taught in the first training to help people get the results they want. Training is very geared toward people with disabilities, although professionals and family members can learn how to support people in the following areas: increasing “dating confidence,” how to write a kick butt dating profile, how to effectively communicate with dates about a disability, and how to take the right action for dating success.
Training #3: How to Increase Self Esteem and Confidence for Dating
Date: March 9, 2021
Description: Learn why dating and relationships is really a self esteem issue, especially for people with disabilities. The basics of dating, disability, and sexuality as they relate to a person’s ability to attract others and healthy relationships. Learn how to increase “dating confidence” in people with disabilities, as well as teaching the importance of having a vision of what kind of relationship is wanted.
Training #4: Problem Solving and Finding Relationship Success
Date: March 10, 2021
Description: Learn how teaching problem solving skills for dating and relationships is essential. Explore how crucial it is to support people in maintaining confidence and empowerment in a relationship, as well as knowing when to end a relationship. Learn techniques for bringing a disability into a relationship, as well as the importance of having a support network for both dating and relationships.
About Kathy O’Connell:
Kathy O’Connell is Director of Radiant Abilities. Radiant Abilities provides resources and products for people with disabilities in the areas of self-esteem, relationships, personal empowerment, and living the life you want. Kathy has a specialized focus in helping people with disabilities with dating and relationship success. She works from the premise of a healthy self-esteem, increased confidence, and good boundaries build the foundation for success in dating, relationships, and sexuality.
Kathy created an online course for people with disabilities, Dating, Relationships and Disabilities: How to Have Confidence and Succeed. She provides individual coaching and counseling for dating and relationships. Kathy intertwines strategies and insights she learned through both her clinical practice and her personal transformation from lacking confidence related to her disability to developing a healthy sense of self in dating and relationships that led to meeting her husband.
Kathy has taught dating, relationships, and disability at the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University. She also teaches community classes in dating, relationships, and sexuality, as well as at conferences.
Kathy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in Syracuse, NY. She teaches insight, skill development, and empowering beliefs in dating, relationships, and sexuality. Kathy has a counseling practice in Syracuse, working primarily with people with disabilities and their families.
Kathy is the author of the self-improvement book, Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities, how embracing disability and taking pride in it lead to living the life you want.