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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Relationships are the key to a fulfilling life for all

This opinion piece is over 3 years old

Michael McEwan gives us a preview of a series of events held by the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities

Scottish Learning Disability Week is an annual event and each year it explores a different theme.

The aim is to raise awareness of issues that matter, through a series of events coordinated by Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD).

It’s about interacting with wider community

Taking place from 10-16 May, this year's theme is relationships.

Many people with a disability I've met with over years share common concern that going out and socialising can often be challenging, now compounded by lockdown.

We should have equal opportunities to lead an independent life in terms of relationships, which can be in different forms, that's why each day of the week will cover a different theme.

Monday is friendships, Tuesday is issues around sex, Wednesday the challenges we face, Thursday it’s families, Friday – like the Cure song – it’s romance, Saturday looks at social life and Sunday, self care.

Relationships go beyond a partner or family, it’s about interacting with wider community, whether workplace connections with colleagues, employers and different parts of community.

Building and maintaining relationships is more challenging in these unprecedented times, and I've built new work colleague connections and quickly a new, virtual, way of working.

Many people with a disability need extra support and they may need a support worker to do this. Crucially a relationship of trust and understanding develops between them.

We all need good and meaningful relationships – and Scottish Learning Disability Week will explore what they mean and how to achieve them.

If you would like an information pack please email

Michael McEwan is a freelance journalist and disability campaigner.