This week is Learning Disability Week 2013 (19 – 25 August).
So what is a learning disability? A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5m people in the UK have one (NHS Choices). This means they can have difficulty:
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
A learning disability, like any other disability, can differ from person to person from mild to moderate to severe. It is thought that up to 350,000 people have severe learning disabilities. This figure is increasing. A learning disability is not the same as a learning difficulty or mental illness.
Here at UCanDoIT we often train people who, initially are referred to us due to a physical or sensory disability, and we may find that they also have a learning disability. For instance people with cerebral palsy can sometimes have a learning disability.
There is a lot of excellent software and hardware available that can help us help people with learning disabilities. Using the computer to contact people, look for information or to Skype friends and family is a big step forward in independence.
Events will be taking place around the country – why not see what is happening near you. Visit Mencap for information on their work this week or go to Google to see what else is happening.