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.
What related conditions are there?
A lot of people with a learning disability have more than one diagnosis and have a set of conditions that are unique to them. Conditions associated with learning disability that may also include a learning disability are: Downs Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Autism and Aspergers, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, Challenging Behaviour, and Global Developmental Delay.
How many people have a learning disability?
There are over 28,000 people with a learning disability living in Kent. Only 15% are currently known to be eligible for support from Kent County Council.
How can I help someone with a learning disability?
A person with a learning disability may take longer and need support to learn new things, may need help to understand difficult information, and may find it hard to communicate and do every day activities.
Take the time to listen to their wants and need, and be kind.
Doing a little research can help. Mencap have a great resource regarding communicating with someone with a learning disability that you can view here.
Remember that everyone is different, and has different needs and preferences.
What does East Kent Mencap do?
East Kent Mencap is a charity that provides opportunities for adults and children with a learning disability, supporting over 400 members across East Kent.
We have Day Resources that collectively support over 100 people with a learning disability in Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate and Sheerness.
We have 13 supported housing properties in East Kent, and support members in the community.
We provide bespoke services for young people with complex needs, providing over 5,000 hours of 1:1 support annually.
We also offer free and low cost activities and events, which provide valuable social opportunities.
Our objectives are:
➤ We help offer an essential service throughout East Kent
➤ We listen to people with a learning disability
➤ We fight for the changes that people with learning disabilities and their families and carers want and need
➤ We support people living with a learning disability in all areas of their lives
➤ We give information and advice
➤ We work with people and groups that want the same things we do
Where can I go for more information?
For further information about learning disabilities, do take a look at the resources on Mencap’s website here.
We asked our members what they would like people to know about having a learning disability.
We also asked our volunteers and supporters to share their thoughts.