People with idd dating sites
"Without saying a word, you can light up the dark," the lyrics say.Both Rosemary Maness, 63, and Coy Maness, 54, have intellectual disabilities, defined as an IQ of 70 or lower.Even if I would have to live alone, I would stay alone. Decades into a movement to recognize that people with intellectual disabilities should live as independently as possible and make their own decisions, sexuality and relationships remain among the last frontiers, advocates say."This is like the elephant in the room that everyone walks around," said Beverly Frantz, an expert on intellectual disabilities and sexuality at the Institute on Disabilities at Philadelphia-based Temple University.The desires of individuals for relationships often run headlong into thorny questions about whether an individual has the capacity to make an informed decision about sex, dating or romance.
Stephanie Woodward, a 26-year-old lawyer with spina bifida, recently turned to online dating as a fun and cheap way to explore her new city.
Her agency provides caretakers for Rosemary and Coy Maness, who met at agency dances and outings, decided to marry and approached Powers with their decision."Their IQ doesn't determine their feelings or needs," she said. They don't get a lot of touch or a lot of affection. But there are also individuals with severe disabilities who do not have the capacity to make such decisions, and for whom intimate relationships are not appropriate.
And, to be honest, a lot of them want sex, just like anybody else."When Rosemary Maness first said she wanted to marry, Powers advised her to wait a few months to think it over."But she just said, 'no,' and marched out mad as a snake," Powers said. A 68-year-old Columbia, Tenn., pastor faces rape charges stemming from allegations he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old woman with intellectual disabilities.
DIDD officials recently updated their manual for private agencies to say that "individuals have a right to have intimate relationships with other people of their choosing, unless such rights have been specifically restricted by a court order."Spokeswoman Cara Kumari noted that this is not an official policy, just a statement about the rights of people in their care."Relationships are personal matters, and issues involving relationships are handled on an individual basis," Kumari said.
Powers said a lack of guidance means that individuals' freedoms will continue to depend on their immediate caretakers and family members, rather than on an objective assessment of what each person could experience in life."You talk to anyone here," Powers said. Most never will be, but we can't take away that chance simply because we don't want to deal with uncomfortable issues."For Rosemary Maness, there's nothing uncomfortable about her relationship with her husband."I couldn't love nobody else but him," Maness said.