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Learning Disability Sex Campaign Launched
Sex and relationship give good
feelings - people with disabilities
just as others © SXC
It’s My Right! – A campaign on the rights of people with learning disabilities to have sex and relationships was launched. It follows research showing such people are often denied help on pursuing relationships.
The Family Planning Association (fpa) who produced the information pack says people with learning disabilities must be equipped with the right skills to enjoy relationships without putting themselves at risk. Julie Bentley, chief executive of fpa, said living independently meant more than "qualifications and securing a job". "Expressing your sexuality and enjoying a relationship is something everyone values.
Poor sex education and fears about exploitation can stand in the way of this happening for people with learning disabilities. "Information and skills must be available to people with learning disabilities so they can enjoy intimate relationships without putting themselves at risk."
A set of posters has been sent to health, social care and educational settings across the UK. The posters feature men, women and couples with learning disabilities. Joseph Greene, 23, from Islington in north London, is one of the poster models for the It's My Right! campaign. "I want to meet a girl I can become friends with, take to the pub and the cinema and then after a couple of months see where it goes," he said. "But it's difficult out there."
Dame Jo Williams, chief executive of Mencap, a charity for people with learning disabilities, said people with a learning disability should not be denied the right to develop personal relationships because of prejudice or lack of accessible information. "However, appropriate support must be in place, so that people with a learning disability can make informed decisions about sex, and those who don't have the capacity to consent to sexual activity, must be protected," she added.
- More about the Family Planning Association at: www.fpa.org
( Source: REHACARE.de )