Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021

We are excited to announce that Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021 will take place from Monday 10th – Sunday 16th May.

The theme for 2021 is Relationships

This year’s Scottish Learning Disability Week is all about relationships and the importance of having other people in our lives, whether that be as neighbours, colleagues, friends, family or a romantic partner – relationships matter!

We know that getting out and socialising can sometimes be more difficult for people with learning disabilities. This can lead to fewer opportunities to meet people and form relationships – something we all should have an equal opportunity to do.

This Scottish Learning Disability Week we highlighted the issues people with learning disabilities can face around relationships and focus on the importance of relationships in all our lives.

Each day during Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021 we will focus on a different aspect of relationships:

Download our Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021: ‘A Guide to What’s On’ here.

Book your space at our events now!

We’re holding an online film festival courtesy of Sproutflix. Find out more by downloading our Film Festival programme here.

Monday – Friendship

Monday is all about friendship – friends are important to all of us; they are with us in the good times and the tough times in our lives. We will use this day to celebrate friendship and what friendship means to people with learning disabilities. For some people with learning disabilities it can be hard to meet new people without being supported to do so, and this can mean that the opportunities to make friends are sometimes more limited. We want to highlight this issue and ask what we can do to make things better.

Tuesday – Sex

Sex is an important part of any intimate relationship with a partner, however when it comes to the lives of people with learning disabilities sex can often feel like ‘the last taboo’. We want to use Tuesday as a chance to highlight the importance of sex education and talking about sex, relationships and consent with adults with learning disabilities.

Wednesday – Challenges

As the saying goes ‘no relationship is all sunshine’ – we all experience problems within our personal relationships from time to time. However, when you have a learning disability navigating relationships and knowing who to turn to for advice can sometimes be more difficult. On Wednesday we will hear the real-life stories of people with learning disabilities who’ve experienced problems with relationships in their life; we’ll find out how they dealt with their problems and made their own decisions about what they wanted.

Thursday – Family

Family forms the foundation of many people’s lives – these are often the people closest to us who shape how we see the world. People with a learning disability might have a different relationship to their families than others; for example, for some people their family are their main carers. Others might be more likely to live with their family into adulthood because they feel safer in a home environment, but this can also be because of a lack of options to help them to make a transition into independent adulthood. Some people with learning disabilities may not have family, or live far away from their family, and so they can’t see them very often. Others might have or want a family of their own. On Thursday we will be asking what does family mean to people with learning disabilities?

Friday – Romance

We know from our national ‘How’s Life?’ Survey of people with learning disabilities in Scotland, that there is a big gap between their experiences and those of the general population when it comes to having a romantic partner. Of those who responded to our survey, just five per cent reported that they lived with a partner and just three percent said that they were married. On Friday we want to ask why is this? What barriers do people with learning disabilities face when it comes to romantic relationships? What needs to change to make things better? We will also be hearing from people with learning disabilities who have a partner, about what their romantic relationships mean to them.

Saturday – Social Life

Socialising is an important way to get out there and to meet people! Campaigns such as Stay up Late Scotland highlight the right to a social life for people with learning disabilities. So what better way to celebrate both Scottish Learning Disability Week and the weekend than with a get-together?! Stay up Late Scotland have organised a gig which will take place on Saturday 15th May. Details of the event will be shared through SCLD’s social media channels during Scottish Learning Disability Week.

Sunday – Self-care

In order to have safe and healthy relationships with other people, we must first love ourselves. So we’ve dedicated the last day of Scottish Learning Disability Week to ‘self-care’ and we will use the day to explore the things each of us can do to look after our
mental, physical and emotional health.

Please refer to Scottish Government guidance when organising or taking part in events/activities for Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021.

Make us a promise 

This Scottish Learning Disability Week we are asking people across Scotland to make a promise to have an open conversation about relationships.

This could be with someone with learning disabilities who you support, or if you have a learning disability you could promise to tell your family, friends and supporters about the relationships you have already, or the relationships you want in your life.

The conversation can be about any aspect of relationships and it will depend on your own relationship with the person as to what you feel comfortable talking about. Here are some things you could chat about:

Different kinds of relationships, e.g. family, friends, romantic partners, colleagues or neighbours
Relationships that you have in your life 
Relationships that you would like to have in your life 
Good things that different relationships can bring 
Problems that relationships can bring 

Then decorate your ‘Promise Postcard’ (inside your Learning Disability Week ‘Get Involved Pack’) and take a photo of yourself with the postcard to share on social media, then post it to us (using the address below). Tag SCLD using the social media details (below) and we’ll share your promise through our social media channels during Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021.

What can I do now?

Save the dates in your diary and start thinking about how you can get involved! Let people know about the Week by using our Scottish Learning Disability Week themed designs on your social media channels.

Use #LDWeekScot2021 in your posts to raise awareness and help us to keep all news related to the Week in one place!


Social media

Get Involved Packs

Due to high demand, there are no more print copies available of our Scottish Learning Disability Week ‘Get Involved Packs’. You can download and print the pack contents below.

Get Involved Pack contents:


Resources & activities

Uno the Unicorn

Uno the Unicorn is our Scottish Learning Disability Week mascot! He was designed by
Stephen Dickson, who won our mascot design competition back in 2018.

You can use Uno’s image on your website and social media posts about Scottish Learning Disability Week 2021.

Remember to hashtag your Uno posts with #UnotheUnicorn so that the SCLD team can give you a like, share or retweet!

You can find out more about Uno here.