Exploring personal relationships is a natural part of growing up for young people, and this is no different for a young disabled person. Trailblazers wanted to consider personal perceptions of disability and relationships through case studies, surveys, and the sharing of personal experiences.

Our report, It’s Complicated, aims to present these sensitive and private thoughts in an honest and realistic way to provide a matter-of-fact account of what it really means to be single, in a relationship or married, when you have disability.

Our report revealed:

  • Four out of five Trailblazers said they have never dated another person with a disability
  • Only one third said they would prefer to meet a new partner when out at bars, cafes or clubs
  • Three-quarters believed that other people’s opinions are an obstacle to forming a relationship
  • Three out of four feel that the issue of disability and relationships has not been represented accurately in the media
  • Over half of Trailblazers who responded said the easiest way to meet someone was online.

Sometimes I think that I’m making this up in my head, but I still feel like people ‘judge’ me and my date-ability based on my disability. My friends would never say my disability has come between our friendship, but it seems to me as if having a disability has precluded me from having the status of being ‘attractive’, both according to society and in my own life. In some people’s eyes it does make me ‘undateable’.

Mathy Selvakumaran

Words of advice from Trailblazers

Just go for it, and know that there will be disappointments and let-downs along the way, but never give up. If you really want a relationship you have to keep trying, it takes time and won’t happen overnight, whether you have a disability or not.

Trailblazers in the media

In 2015, Trailblazers Mathy, Zoe and Jessica were featured in The Telegraph talking about disability and relationships. You can read the full article here.

 

Find out more

You can read our most recent report on disability and relationships here. Trailblazers continues to campaign on disability and relationships. If you are affected by these issues and would like to share your experiences or be a media ambassador, contact us. You can also check out Muscular Dystrophy UK’s top tips on personal relationships.

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