Monday, 30 November 2015

Love, intimacy and disabiity

We are increasingly hearing about people with Down syndrome and other disabilities in long term and intimate relationships, and/or getting married, but it can still be a difficult need to meet:

The barriers to romance for adults with disabilities
Chris Serres, Daily Life, 24th November 2015
... For people with disabilities like Rachel and Nicholas, such freedom to be intimate is rare. Disabled adults complain of having to overcome constant hurdles to engage in romantic activity and sustain loving relationships. The obstacles include arbitrary curfews, lack of transportation and segregated housing that cuts them off from mainstream social life and opportunities to date. Often, the barriers are imposed by group home operators that place safety above intimacy ...

Here comes the bride
Carly Findlay, Don't DIS my ABILITY (blog), 26th November 2015
I will be a bride in March. Although my parents encouraged me to be anything I wanted to be, I never thought I'd be a bride. I tried dating for many years, but it was hard to meet a man who was ok with my severe skin condition – Ichthyosis ...

... Outsiders often view getting into a relationship as the Holy Grail for people with disabilities. They see it as a big achievement, because disability is often portrayed as undesirable, unattractive even. Love is, in my experience, sometimes harder to come by because of disability, but not impossible ...

Friendship - A guide to finding friends and building community
Kay Mills, Centre for Welfare Reform (UK), 2015
Kay Mills is one of the leading experts in the UK in how to help people with learning disabilities overcome the risk of social isolation - by getting friends, building community and finding love. This guide is easy to read and packed full of good advice and inspiring stories.
Too little attention has been paid to love, friendship and community in the lives of people with learning disabilities. Instead organisations focus on housing or support services, but fail to deal with much more important issues of the heart and spirit. This is the next big challenge ...

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