What is a learning disability?

I’ve been at Mencap for two weeks now, absorbing as much information as I can! There’s a huge range of work that Mencap does to support thousands of people with a learning disability.

1.4 million people in the UK have a learning disability. That’s a lot. Many people don’t really understand what a learning disability is though, or how it impacts people’s lives.

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone their whole life.

People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complex information and interact with other people.

The level of support someone needs depends on individual factors, including the severity of their learning disability. For example, someone with a mild disability may only need support with things like getting a job. However, someone with a severe or profound learning disability may need full-time care and support with every aspect of their life – they may also have physical disabilities.

With the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent lives.

Mencap supports people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. With all of this going on, you can probably imagine that Mencap is an exciting place to be – all new areas for me to learn!

In other news, we’ve introduced Cake Fridays (I was “randomly” selected to bake the first cake – thank goodness my banana loaf went down well!) and have found an amazing food market just down the road – perfect for the currently sunny lunchtimes!


I also watched “Mission To Lars”, an inspirational feature documentary about Tom Spicer’s dream of meeting rock God Lars Ulrich of Metallica. Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, a form of autism. Tom’s siblings promise to make Tom’s dream come true. “Mission To Lars” is brilliant and informative and I’m confident that if you watch it, you will love it too!


One comment

  1. Thanks, a very clear introduction to what learning disability is and encouraging to know that with the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent lives.

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