What is a learning disability?

Question…how easily can you answer this question?

Here are some interesting facts around learning disability – maybe you will learn something that you did not know before or you had not thought of:

1. A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth and it is always lifelong.

2. People with a learning disability find it harder to learn, understand and communicate, which can affect their intellectual and social development. Some people need help with everyday tasks like getting dressed or cooking, or social skills like holding a conversation.

3. Others with a more severe or profound learning disability may require 24-hour care, particularly those with physical disabilities.

4. Learning disability is not an illness and does not come under the banner of mental health.

5. Learning disability is one of the most common forms of disability in the UK. It is also the least understood.

6. There are about 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability – nearly 3 in 100 – and there are an estimated 27,000 people in the Merseyside area alone who face disadvantages every day and are routinely excluded from their communities.

7. 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying.

8. 1 in 2 families with a disabled child lives in poverty in the UK.

9. People with a learning disability are individuals with unique personalities, likes and dislikes, goals, and aspirations.

10. Many adults with a learning disability do not get the same chances as other people to gain independence, learn key skills and make choices about their own lives.

(Source: Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust, National Mencap)

A major problem for people with a learning disability is that other people don’t understand what it means for someone to have a learning disability. Mencap Liverpool is here to challenge that, supporting people to access opportunities and friendships that will make a real difference to their lives.

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