Skip to content Exit mobile menu

​Resources: Learning Disabilities

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

People who have a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people (Mencap, 2021). Not to be confused with specific learning difficulties or differences (such as: dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia and dyscalculia), as specific learning differences do not impact overall general IQ or ability.

Learning Disability Powerpoint Slides

A short set of slides covering:

  • What is Learning Disability Week?
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Social care support
  • Communication
  • Top tips for communicating when supporting someone who has a Learning Disability
  • General resource recommendations
  • Getting creative ideas
  • Helplines and support

Learning Disabilities Awareness Week

General information, facts and advice

Information from: Learning Disability - Social Care Research and Stats | Mencap

What is social care? 

Social care can mean support that ranges from a few hours of a week to 24-hours-a-day. 

Over 1 million adults in England accessed long-term or short-term social care support in England in 2017/18. For 150,100 of these adults, a learning disability was the main reason they needed support. 

Of these adults: 

  • approximately 147,920 accessed long-term support 
  • approximately 2,180 completed short-term support designed to maximise their independence (NHS Digital 2018). 

Social care can be very important in helping people with a learning disability to live their life in the way they choose, like anyone else. 

Support can be many things, including supporting somebody to get up and get dressed, to develop friendships and relationships, or to do meaningful activities and be part of their local community. 

Mencap Helpline  

Mencap have a Learning Disability Helpline which is free.  Advisors can offer advice and information about learning disability and help you find the right support and services in your area.  They provide information and advice for people with a learning disability, families and carers. 

You can get in touch by phoning 0808 808 1111.  Advisors are available from 10am to 3pmMonday to Friday.  Or you can email or complete this online form

Examples of the type of things they can help with include: 

  • advocacy 
  • benefits 
  • education 
  • events 
  • funding 
  • housing 
  • holidays 
  • jobs 
  • Mencap local groups 
  • personal budgets 
  • relationships 
  • services 
  • support