Last reviewed: July 2016 | Next review: Currently being reviewed
Personal and sexual relationships Relationships are about the people in your life. You might have different types of relationships like friendships, family relationships, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. can bring happiness, fulfilment, companionship, love and a greater sense of freedom to the lives of people with a learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. .
Our vision is a future where the sexual identity, and personal and sexual relationships of people with a learning disability, are recognised, accepted and respected. We want individuals to be empowered to have positive, healthy, informed and safe relationships.
Many people with a learning disability say that relationships are important to them. But only 3% of people with a learning disability live as a couple, compared to 70% of the general adult population.
Many people with a learning disability would like to pursue intimate or sexual relationships, but they face multiple barriers to developing such relationships, including the following:
Meeting people is more difficult and social isolation is common.
People are not receiving adequate relationships and sex education Education is when you learn things. When you fill in a form to get a job, education means you write where you went to school, college or university. to give them the skills and knowledge to have healthy and fulfilling friendships and relationships, and to understand and explore their own sexuality Sexuality is how you feel about yourself and your body. It is about finding out and knowing what feels right for you. .
There is often a lack of privacy which restricts opportunities to explore and understand sexuality.
The balance between risk and rights Rights are the things everyone should be allowed to do like have a say, or go to school. for people with a learning disability engaging in intimate or sexual relationships is often biased towards restricting their choices, both within family settings and other living arrangements.
Download our relationships and sex vision statement to print off and read
Download the easy read Easy Read is a way of making written information easier to understand. Pictures are usually added next to the writing. version of our vision statement on sexuality and relationships.