A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have difficulty understanding new or complex information, learning new skills and coping independently. A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe. Around 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability with up to 350,000 people having a severe learning disability. Some adults with a learning disability are able to live independently, while others need help with everyday tasks, such as washing and dressing, for their whole lives.
Sometimes there’s no known cause for a learning disability but usually a learning disability happens when a person’s brain development is affected, either before they’re born, during their birth or in early childhood. With the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent lives.