Many people find dating and making friends difficult whatever their background and whether they have a disability or not. Whether that’s through lack of confidence, anxiety or social barriers, it can leave people feeling socially isolated.
There are a number of different ways to meet people and what suits one individual might not suit another. Some people prefer to go out to a social event while others may prefer to have initial contact using an online dating website. Although it can feel quite nerve wracking, sometimes it’s just a case of giving something a go.
There are a growing number of mainstream online dating websites as well as a number that cater specifically for people with disabilities. You can usually register for free but there are costs to upgrade your membership. We’ve listed some websites but there are others as well.
When becoming a member of Enable Dating, you have three types of membership to choose from. These range from ‘Free’, to ‘Gold’ and finally ‘VIP’. Each one gives specific features and the upper two tiers add more benefits to help you make the best of your online dating. The free membership is a good starting point, allowing you to get into online dating without any upfront cost or commitments.
Specialist disabled dating agency to help people meet single adult men and women, all within a friendly vibrant disabled community. Initial registration is free. Online chat available and webcam available.
Registration is free. You can browse other member’s profiles. Webcam and online chat available.
Relationships and sexual health advice
In the UK, the age of consent for any form of sexual activity is 16, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. There are a number of organisations that provide relationship and sexual health advice for disabled people.
Enhance UK is an organisation that aims to challenge perceptions and attitudes about disability. They run a number of campaigns and services for disabled people including The Love Lounge which offers free online advice on sex, love and disability. To contact The Love Lounge you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel alone and need to talk to someone you can make an enquiry by filling in the online website form or you can email email@example.com
Enhance UK also run the Undressing Disability campaign which aims to raise standards in sexual health and sexual awareness for disabled people. Through a lack of understanding, education and lack of services, disabled people frequently cannot access the support that would make it possible for them to make choices about their lifestyles. Their campaign focuses on raising standards in key areas:
- Inclusive sex and relationship education
- Meeting the sexual needs of people with disabilities in Residential Care
- Professionals working with disabled people to consider sexual needs as part of their practice.
Mencap have an online advice section on sex and relationships for people with learning disabilities. They believe that education is really important when supporting people and to enable them to have a better sexual knowledge, better sexual health, and reduced vulnerability to sexual abuse.
Change have produced a series of easy-read booklets on sex and relationships designed to teach people with a learning disability about these topics. These books can be purchased from their online shop.
Loneliness can affect everyone, and disabled people can be particularly at risk. One way to reduce isolation is to take part in a befriending project.
Befriending involves meeting regularly with a trained volunteer, who’ll provide company and a chat. They can offer social support and make you aware of other local opportunities. Some befrienders’ will meet you in person, some will chat over the phone. Befriending schemes are set up by charities and other organisations looking to help certain groups of vulnerable people. Many schemes cater for the elderly, and those with disabilities or mental health problems. You can use the Befriending Networks Directory, to find a befriending scheme near you or if you need help, call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
Information last updated on 29 November 2022. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Holidays & Leisure:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
I am going on holiday, how do I hire a mobility scooter or wheel chair when I am there?
If you are staying within the UK you can search for a Shop Mobility local to where you are going. Another option would be to search for local mobility equipment providers.
The Mobility Equipment Hire Direct is a one stop shop to hire a wide range of mobility equipment in a variety of destinations from anywhere in the world using your chosen currency and in your chosen language.
Helpline: 0300 323 9961
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