Unfortunately for many people with learning disabilities, this is just a dream.
Professionals and caregivers also inappropriately apply the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to some people with learning disabilities, especially those with severe learning disabilities.
Chido Ndadzungira does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The Open University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.
I interviewed 16 women with mild to moderate learning disabilities who were members of Stars in the Sky, a pioneering dating agency that you might recognise from the Channel 4’s Undateables. The social networks that many people take for granted are often restricted for people with learning disabilities and they find it hard to engage or access social activities where they can meet people and possibly form relationships.
The challenge, however, is getting the right support. But there should be a balance between protecting people from abuse and enabling them to get into relationships, otherwise people are denied their right to do so.