Disabled people make the same choices about personal relationships and sex as everyone else. However they can experience discrimination on account of their impairment and/or condition, as well as due to their gender or sexuality. This section describes where you can find support and advice concerning personal or sexual issues.
Arthritis Care supports people of all ages with Arthritis, as their main role. However, they also run a service called The Source, which provides information and support for young people with Arthritis, as well as for their parents, carers and/or partners. As well as a Helpline, they produce a downloadable booklet entitled “Relationships, Intimacy and Arthritis.”
The BBC has two web-based services which cover relationships. BBC Switch is an Internet and telephone-based service which has been set up to assist and support teenagers with any issues which may affect them, including those relating to personal relationships. It also provides many useful links to other organisations which teenagers can turn to for whatever assistance and support they may need. BBC Ouch! is a website that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people. It has articles, blogs, a message board and its own downloadable radio show.
The Outsiders' Club is a national organisation for people who feel socially isolated because of their physical impairment. The Club helps to build up confidence and develop friendships. It welcomes people of any sexual orientation, whether they are single, divorced, separated or married. The Outsiders' Club also has a national Helpline for disabled people and their partners or carers who may be having sexual or relationship difficulties. Updated leaflets are available on their website as is a list of helpful books, contacts and counselling services.
Relate offers advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, mediation, consultation and support, face-to-face, over the telephone and through their website. Relate also publishes a wide range of useful literature. In Darlington Relate North East offers relationship counselling as well as access to sex therapy and specialist work with people with Aspergers Syndrome.
The Spinal Injuries Association is a national organisation for and run by people with spinal cord injuries. It provides services and support for disabled people and their families. The Association has a counselling service which offer support to solve problems and address issues including those relating to personal relationships and sexual health
Gay Advice Darlington (GAD) works with individuals and local organisations to ensure a safe, confidential environment in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can live, work and socialise. GAD has several groups as well as an advice line. Support is available to anyone who needs it.
Regard campaigns to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) issues within the disability community and of disability issues within the LGBT community. The organisation has an email group or “e-group” called “Regard Online”, where members can share regular news and views, and another e-group called “Regard Chat”, where members can talk about whatever they want. Regard also publishes a regular newsletter.
Sexual Health Issues
You can discuss personal and sexual issues with your local General Practitioner (GP), who may then refer you to other NHS services if necessary. If you do not know who your GP is or want to talk to someone other than your GP contact the Patient Advisory and Liaison Service (PALS) at Darlington Primary Care NHS Trust (PCT) who provide information about local healthcare services.
Brook provides free and confidential sexual health advice to young people aged up to twenty-five years. There is no Centre in Darlington; advice and information are provided via their website, by e-mail, text and through the telephone helpline ‘Ask Brook’.
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International (DPPi) is a national organisation of and for disabled people who are parents or who hope to become parents, and their families, friends and supporters. They provide a link between disabled parents and any professionals with whom they may have dealings. DPPi also provides a wide range of useful information for disabled parents, including an international journal and magazine which covers issues which may be of interest to disabled parents. This magazine is entitled “Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International.” DPPi is also part of the National Centre for Disabled Parents (NDP).
The Family Planning Association (FPA) provides a nationwide information and education service on all aspects of contraception and sexual health. The FPA can also give details of your nearest source of family planning help and advice. The FPA run a course designed for young people who have physical impairments and covers issues, such as sex and relationships education.
The GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) Clinic based at Darlington Memorial Hospital provides diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, counselling and testing for AIDS and HIV. This Service also offers free condoms, advice on safer sex and cervical cytology screening.
The National AIDS Trust supports those who have AIDS and have the HIV virus. They also campaign against any prejudice which people in this position receive and help those affected by the HIV virus come to terms with having been infected by it. Their confidential Helpline provides information on all AIDS-related issues, including transmission of the HIV virus and AIDS treatment options.
Other Sources of Information
Other Sections of the Darlington Association on Disability Information Guide may contain further information relevant to personal relationships.
See the Section on Personal Safety for information about domestic violence and sexual abuse.
See the Health Section for information on dealing with any health-related issues in connection with personal relationships .
There are a number of local and national organisations providing broad information and advice resources. Please refer to this Guide's Introduction for Contact Details.
Contact Darlington Association on Disability's Information Service for assistance with searching for information about any subject in this Guide or for support in dealing with your information requests.
18 Stephenson Way
Telephone (Free National Helpline) : 0808 800 4050
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 0207 380 6500
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.arthritiscare.org.uk/
British Deaf Association Advocacy Service
C/O Head Office
Telephone (Voice Helpline) : 0870 770 3300
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 02476 550936
Fax : 02476 221541
Minicom (Helpline) : 0800 652 2965
Minicom (For All Other Enquiries) : 02476 550393
Videophone : 0207 496 9539
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.bda.org.uk
Telephone (Free Helpline) : 0808 802 1234
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 0207 284 6040
Fax : 0207 284 6050
Email : via the website
Website : www.brook.org.uk
Darlington Association on Disability
Telephone : 01325 489999
Fax : 01325 488188
Minicom : 01325 245061
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.darlingtondisability.org
Family Planning Association (FPA)
50 Featherstone Street
Telephone (National Helpline) : 0845 122 8690 (Open from 9.00 am until 6.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays)
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 0207 608 5240
Fax : 0845 123 2349
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.fpa.org.uk
Gay Advice Darlington (GAD)
9 Duke Street
Telephone (Helpline) : 01325 355551 (Open from 11.00 am until 4.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays and from 7.00 pm until 9.00 pm on Mondays and Fridays Only)
Telephone (All Other Enquiries) : 01325 252522
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.gayadvicedarlington.co.uk
GUM (Genito Urinary Medicine) Clinic
Department of Genito Urinary Medicine
Darlington Memorial Hospital
Telephone (Advice Line) : 01325 743616
Telephone : 01325 743203
Email : Contact through Website
Website : www.countydurham-gum.nhs.uk
National AIDS Trust
New City Cloisters
196 Old Street
Telephone (National Helpline) : 0207 814 6720
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 0207 814 6767
Fax : 0207 216 0111
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.nat.org.uk
435 Essex Road
Telephone (Sex and Disability Helpline) : 07074 993527 (Open from 11.00 am until 7.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays)
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 0207 354 8291
Email (Sex and Disability Helpline) : firstname.lastname@example.org
Email (For All Other Enquiries): email@example.com
Website : www.outsiders.org.uk
Patient Advisory and Liaison Service (PALS)
C/O Darlington Primary Care NHS Trust
Dr Piper House
Telephone (Free Helpline) : 0800 783 5774
Telephone (Main Switchboard) : 01325 364271
Fax : 01325 746112
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.darlingtonpct.nhs.uk
North East Centre
Telephone (Relationship Counselling Helpline) : 0300 100 1234
Telephone (Appointments Line) : 01325 461500
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.relate.org.uk
The Source (Young Arthritis Care)
C/O Arthritis Care
18 Stephenson Way
Telephone : 0207 380 6540
Telephone (Young People’s Helpline ) : 0808 808 2000
Fax : 0207 380 6505
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.arthritiscare.org.uk
Spinal Injuries Association
2 Trueman Place
Telephone : 0845 678 6633
Fax : 0845 070 6911
Website : www.spinal.co.uk