What is a learning disability?

A person with a learning disability will have a reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills, or to cope independently in every day life.

These disabilities must have been present from childhood and have had a lasting effect on development.

It is important to remember that people with a learning disability are people first, and to focus on what they can do, with support where necessary, rather than what they cannot do. Some people with learning disabilities also have physical and/or sensory impairments and some may also have mental health issues.

A full assessment will help us to understand a person's circumstances and to decide how much help and support is needed to enable them to manage their day to day living.


It is important to remember that 'learning disability' does not include people who have a 'learning difficulty'. Learning difficulties refer more to specific problems with their educational capabilities and usually includes difficulties with reading and writing.

Services for people with a learning disability leaflet

If you are still unsure Adult Social Care enquiries will be able to advise you. You can contact them from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday's, on 0345 045 5202.

What is a learning disability?