I will be editing this according to input from people whose disabilities can affect communication. You do not have to tell me what your specific disability is or what causes it. You don't need to know what your specific label is. You can comment. It is helpful. Please, share with others who can comment, and please, if you have a thought tell me.
Trigger Warning: Abuse
This resource is designed to help people whose disabilities affect communication and their partners negotiate and communicate consent. Just using this resource will not prevent abuse, and if any person winds up in a situation they are not comfortable in, that is not their fault. If this happens to you, it is not your fault. You are not to blame for being abused. You are not to blame if something you are not comfortable with happens and you were not capable of communicating it. You are not to blame if you were silent because you were afraid. You are not to blame if you were silent because you have been told that your comfort does not matter. You are not to blame if your disability directly prevented you from communicating. You are not to blame if your communication was misunderstood or ignored.
Once again: This resource will not prevent abuse on its own. If a person looking to abuse “helps” another person use this resource, it will not prevent them from abusing. This resource is able to educate. This resource does ask questions that may help when trying to establish consent. This resource can help avoid situations where a disability leads to the impression of consent where there is none. This resource can help avoid situations where purposefully taught anti-skills lead to the impression of consent where there is none-but only if all people using this resource have those goals.
A few things for a person whose disability can affect communication to think about before using the checklists (note that not every such disability is primarily a communication disability):
Do you sometimes have trouble setting boundaries? Are there things that make it easier for you to do so? (Would filling out the checklist away from your partner(s) help you to set the boundary initially? Would you have difficulty telling your partner(s) so if they asked, and would filling this out before they even know it exists help with that? Should you write a note to your partner(s) telling them that they shouldn't ask you if you're sure about any boundary that you set in there because you have trouble with setting boundaries?) Do your partner(s) know about this issue?
Does your partner ask questions that imply a desired answer? Is this something they do knowingly? (Are they working on not doing this or are they OK with this? If they are OK with this, that is major red flag.)
Do you have trouble with multiple choice questions? Does a space to write in why answer X isn't quite right or explain your answer help with that? Does a person helping you understand the question help with this issue? Who is the best person to have help with this? (It might not be your partner(s), especially if your partner(s) are still working on asking questions which do not imply an answer.)
A few things to think about if your partner's disability can affect communication:
Have you noticed that your partner(s) have trouble setting boundaries? Are there any circumstances under which they find it easier to do so? Do you know how to ask questions that don't imply a specific answer? How can you let my partner(s) know about this resource so that they feel comfortable using the checklists independently or with someone else's help if desired? Do you think you would be able to help your partner(s) use these checklists without affecting their ability to set firm boundaries?
If you and your partner(s) have disabilities that can affect communication, you should be thinking about both sets of issues before using the checklists included in this resource. Regardless of who has disabilities, communication barriers caused by physical location needs considering. Negotiating a plan beforehand and then using a different communication method for “continue along the prior plan” vs. “get to a place where more complicated communication is possible, then discuss changes to the plan” is one possible way to handle this.