Learning disability speed dating
This also goes for people with learning disabilities, and for it to happen their sexuality must be acknowledged. They match people interested in forming relationships and support them on their first date. 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. Lonely by Shutterstock Stars in the Sky, one of the first to be set up, by two women with learning disabilities, is now unfortunately closing due to financial constraints. People with learning disabilities, like everyone else, have a need for affectionate and intimate relationships. As Monica told me:
The decade has seen a growth of friendship and dating groups for people with learning disabilities, including HeartVenture , Luv2meetU and matesndates. The challenge, however, is getting the right support. As Monica told me: Although they may want to be in a relationship, they are often faced with barriers and challenges that prevent them finding what many take for granted. They need support to allow them the opportunity to form and develop relationships, and they should be empowered with the tools they need to consent to sexual relationships. The act states that the capacity to consent to sexual relationships must be assumed unless proven otherwise and an unwise decision does not necessarily imply a lack of capacity. But specialised dating agencies can help to provide the support they need to meet new people and find romance. Not only do these beliefs hold people with learning disabilities back from relationships, they also infringe on their human right to privacy and a family life, as outlined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act Samantha joined the dating agency because, she said: 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. I was struggling to find anyone on my own. Dating agencies Special dating agencies can enable people with learning disabilities to find relationships and broaden their social networks. Protection from abuse People with learning disabilities — both men and women — are vulnerable to sexual abuse and need protection from this. 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. These women wanted to be in a relationship. Unfortunately for many people with learning disabilities, this is just a dream. I want somebody to settle down and spend the rest of my life with. 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. Monica, for example, said: It also featured in The Undateables, and it is clearly evident from the series that support can enable people with learning disabilities to form relationships. Holding a candle for someone? I hate being on my own and being miserable. And success is not only measured by a successful date but by the confidence that individuals gain by going on a date, too. Research that reviewed cases on the capacity to consent to sexual activity highlighted failures in the implementation of the act and suggested a reframed capacity assessment informed by research into sexual decision making. Not being open or only dealing with issues in a reactive way is more likely to leave people vulnerable to abuse.
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