A person with a learning disability has had something affect the development of their brain before they became an adult.
This can happen for a number of reasons, including genetic conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, or can be for another reason, for example as a result of an illness. This can affect how quickly someone learns, and may affect things such as their coordination and skills. Some people need only a little support, and some need help with most daily living tasks, and some people also have associated physical disabilities.
A learning disability is different from a learning difficulty; a learning difficulty is something that affects someone’s ability to learn or undertake a specific activity (such as Dyslexia).
In the past people with disabilities were often defined by what they couldn’t do rather than what they could, no two people will have the same challenges to overcome and everyone will deal with these differently. In the past, people with learning disabilities often haven’t had as much control over how they live their lives as most other people.
People are individuals first, with individual skills, talents and gifts, we are working on imaginative ways to get people involved in planning their support and in their community, as what someone can achieve can be strongly affected by how well they are supported.
Some people have difficulty communicating using speech and may need people around them to use other techniques to understand what is important and ensure the person gets real choice over their life.
With the right approaches, more people are being supported into volunteering and employment by Inspire, and enabled to be active valued citizens in a variety of ways.