Learning disabilities - Overview

A learning disability can affect the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have ongoing difficulties with:

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

Many people with learning disabilities may also have, a hearing or sight impairment, physical disability or Autism. A learning disability does not include all those who have a 'learning difficulty'.

If you have a learning disability, you may find everyday activities like work, education and jobs around the house a challenge. Other people may not understand learning disabilities so it may be hard to explain how you feel or you might find it hard to make friends. 

How to get help for your learning disability

The first step is to ask for an assessment

You can do this yourself (known as self-referral) or someone else can do this on your behalf, as long as you are OK with that.

You will also need a formal diagnosis of your learning disability. 

What is an assessment?

Your assessment is about you, and is completed together with one of our team.

With your consent, we may also talk to other people who know you or support you, including your doctor or nurse if you have one.

We may ask questions around the following areas:

  1. Manage food and eat well
  2. Manage personal hygiene
  3. Manage toilet needs
  4. Manage to dress yourself appropriately
  5. Be safe within my home
  6. Maintain my own home
  7. Be able to make friends and other relationships as well as see family
  8. Having a job, going to college or volunteering to work somewhere
  9. Using services in the community
  10. To be able to care for your children

How the Learning Disability Team can help you

We may be able to help If you are an adult, or a young person becoming an adult, who has a learning disability.  You may received care and support needs that are eligible under The Care Act 2014.

You can view the easy read version of the Care Act 2014 (PDF).

The team can offer advice and guidance with specialist health care needs, for example:

  • epilepsy
  • mental health
  • complex physical needs
  • challenging behaviour
  • autism
  • dementia

And we may be able to provide advice and support about: 

  • Direct Payments and personal budgets
  • preparing for adulthood (transitions)
  • day opportunities (college, vocational courses)
  • employment opportunities
  • accommodation
  • help to live at home
  • respite care
  • carer's assessment

We work with others like social workers, learning disability nurses, community team assistants and carer's support worker.