What life is like if you have a learning disability | QCS

What life is like if you have a learning disability

Dementia Care
June 22, 2022

Abi Spence, QCS contributor, shines a light on how care providers and the people they support can celebrate Learning Disability Week from 22-26 June.

Impact of COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has been difficult for many people across the country, but even more so for many people with a learning disability.

Shine a light

This Learning Disabilities Week gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to shine a light on what the personal impact of COVID-19 has been, and how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with friends and communities again.

Working hard to support

Services who support people with a learning disability have worked hard and innovatively to meet the needs of individuals during this time and continue to support life as it slowly returns to normal. Many providers have also found it a challenge to re-establish everyday activities, and some individuals remain particularly vulnerable.

What the week encourages

Mencap who organise the week says, ‘We know that many people don’t know what a learning disability is, or what life can be like for somebody that has one…’

‘Every year we have Learning Disability Week. It is all about making sure the world hears what life is like if you have a learning disability’.

Through the week Mencap wants to:

  • Educate and raise awareness about learning disabilities
  • Smash stigmas and end discrimination
  • Fight and campaign for a fair society

The Charity has asked people with a learning disability to use the week to talk about

  • How the pandemic changed their life and their hopes for getting back to normal
  • Share how they feel about their life, and
  • Speak about community, family and friends that are important to individuals

Mencap has a ‘get in touch’ form with easy read instructions to gather information so people with a learning disability can share their story through the Charity.

Opportunity to reflect

This is also a great way to take time to capture the lived experience of individuals supported by the service, to look at how things can be done differently and what is working well.

Ideas for celebrating the week

Everyone interacts differently. It is important to support individuals in the way that suits them to talk and engage in the week.

Create art that tells a story. Not everyone has a conventional voice. The medium of art can give opportunities for individuals to tell their story or express feelings, using anything from paper mâché to paints, junk modelling or collage.

Drama and dance. Companies like A Younger Theatre company have gathered a list of organisations across the country who provide workshops, theatre opportunities and resources to support people with a learning disability.

Celebrating with the community. If the Jubilee has shown us anything, it’s that we miss getting together. Risk assessed community gatherings can be a great way to showcase what Learning Disability Week means to the people you support. If you have captured individuals’ experiences through art or drama – why not showcase this at an event? 

Involve workers friends and family. These people are key in ensuring person-centred support and wellbeing. This week, recognise and celebrate those special people and workers too.

Mencap is also encouraging communities to fundraise for the charity, raising awareness across age groups, from schools to work places.

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate… enjoy this special week!

Further information

Learn more about Learning Disability Week

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Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist


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