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The challenge, however, is getting the right support. But there should be a balance between protecting people from abuse and enabling them to get into relationships, otherwise people are denied their right to do so.As Georgia, one participant in a 2014 study, said: I think I do need a bit of support … And that so yeah, gives me a bit of confidence to speak, and see if I can meet the right one, and could say to them, ‘well what d’you think about this … To prevent abuse, people with learning disabilities should have access to sex and relationships education, and caregivers should be prepared to discuss issues on sex and relationships openly in a proactive, rather than reactive, way.The decade has seen a growth of friendship and dating groups for people with learning disabilities, including Heart Venture, Luv2meet U and matesndates.They match people interested in forming relationships and support them on their first date.
All new members are vetted by experienced volunteers.
I hate being on my own and being miserable.” Relationships have a positive impact on mental health and the well-being of people in general.
This also goes for people with learning disabilities, and for it to happen their sexuality must be acknowledged.
People with learning disabilities, like everyone else, have a need for affectionate and intimate relationships.
Yet many people with learning disabilities don’t get to have this type of relationship because of a lack of social and practical support, and society’s negative and stereotypical attitudes.My research explores the views and experiences of women with learning disabilities on sexual relationships and as part of my Ph D I gave them a platform to talk openly about this taboo subject. look how long I will be in my 50s and then 60s and I am thinking I don’t want to be in the same situation … I want somebody to settle down and spend the rest of my life with.I interviewed 16 women with mild to moderate learning disabilities who were members of Stars in the Sky, a pioneering dating agency that you might recognise from the Channel 4’s Undateables. The social networks that many people take for granted are often restricted for people with learning disabilities and they find it hard to engage or access social activities where they can meet people and possibly form relationships.Professionals and caregivers also inappropriately apply the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to some people with learning disabilities, especially those with severe learning disabilities.