What is a learning disability?

Learning disability is one of the most common forms of disability in the UK.

 It is not an illness or a disease.

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate.

This means they can have difficulty

  • understanding new or complex information
  • learning new skills
  • coping independently

A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe.

Some people with a mild learning disability can talk easily and look after themselves but may need a bit longer than usual to learn new skills.

Other people may not be able to communicate at all and have other disabilities as well.

Some adults with a learning disability are able to live independently, while others need help with everyday tasks, such as washing and dressing, for their whole lives.

It depends on the person’s abilities and the level of care and support they receive.

A learning disability does not prevent someone from learning and achieving in life, given the right support.

The level of support someone needs depends on the individual.

Children and young people with a learning disability may also have special educational needs (SEN).

Many people with a learning disability find it more difficult to learn and understand than other people but many live independent lives.

It is important to understand that people with a learning disability are just like other people.

They are an individual with their own personalities, likes and dislikes, goals and ambitions.


For more information, please see the links below.