Learning disability support
Gives information about where you can get support for learning disability
A learning disability is usually the result of a life-long condition that starts before adulthood. Learning disabilities can occur as a result of genetic or developmental factors, or damage to the brain, often at birth. They affect a person’s level of intellectual functioning, usually permanently, and may also affect their physical development.
Learning disabilities tend to be fairly fixed, and often cannot be treated or controlled with medication or other therapies. However, much can be done to help people with learning disabilities to make use of their abilities and to achieve the best possible quality of life.
People with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to mental health problems than the general population. The tabs above give details of organisations that provide support and further information about learning disabilty.
For people with mental health problems and learning disabilities
Organisations for people with both learning disabilities and mental health problems
Munro - Guy’s Hospital
London SE1 3SS
tel: 020 3228 9742
A training, research and development resource for those who support adults with learning disabilities and additional mental health needs.
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD)
9th Floor, Sea Containers House,
20 Upper Ground
London SE1 9QB
Part of the Mental Health Foundation, the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities works to promote the rights, quality of life and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and their families, by working with people with learning disabilities, their families and the people who support them. The FPLD is the leading UK charity researching learning disabilities issues.
The Judith Trust
tel: 020 7266 1073
The Judith Trust supports multidisciplinary, preventive and innovative approaches to help those with learning disabilities and mental health problems and to improve their quality of life.
Standon House, 21 Mansell Street
London E1 8AA
tel: 020 7481 7600
Turning Point is a social care organisation, working in the areas of substance misuse, mental health and learning disability.
Vantage House, 1 Weir Road
London SW19 8UX
tel: 020 8246 5200
A national charity that supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities to take control of their lives.
For people with learning disabilities
Organisations for people with learning disabilities
Association for Real Change
ARC House, Marsden Street
Derbyshire S40 1JY
tel: 01246 555 043
PO Box 189
Bangor LL57 9BU
Membership organisation supporting providers of services to people with a learning disability to promote real change.
British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD)
Campion House, Green Street
Kidderminster DY10 1JL
tel: 01562 723010
National charity committed to improving quality of life for people with learning disabilities. Provides publications and training services for organisations and individuals, and supports advocacy.
Unit 41, Shine
Leeds LS8 5HS
tel 0113 388 0011
Change is a national organisation run by disabled people that works for the rights of all people with learning disabilities, including those who are deaf or blind.
The Elfrida Society
34 Islington Park Street
London N1 1PX
tel: 020 7359 7443
Leading charity aiming to make it possible for people with learning difficulties to manage as much of their lives as they want and feel able to.
(formerly John Grooms and the Shaftesbury Society)
tel: 020 7452 2000
Christian organisation providing care services for people with disabilities all over England and Wales.
123 Golden Lane
London EC1Y 0RT
tel: 020 7454 0454
Helpline: 0808 808 1111
Mencap Direct (to find local Mencap services): 0300 333 1111
31 Lambourne Crescent
Cardiff Business Park
Cardiff CF14 5GF
tel: 029 2074 7588
Mencap provide a variety of services including support with housing, education, employment and leisure activities.
F173 Riverside Business Park
London SW18 4UQ
tel. 020 8874 1377
Organisation run by and for people with learning difficulties to raise awareness of and campaign for the rights of people with learning difficulties and to support self advocacy groups across the country.
Prospects for People with Learning Disabilities
69 Honey End Lane
Reading RG30 4EL
tel: 0118 950 8781
Prospect is a Christian voluntary organisation that values and supports people with learning disabilities so that they can live life to the full.
Real Life Options
Aims to provide self-directed support that puts people with learning disabilities in control of their own lives and maximises their independence and social inclusion.
Organisations addressing abuse
Ann Craft Trust
The Ann Craft Trust Centre for Social Work
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD
tel: 0115 951 5400
Working with staff in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors to protect people with learning disabilities who may be at risk from abuse.
3rd Floor, 24-32 Stephenson Way
London, NW1 2HD
Tel: 020 7383 0700 ~
Helpline: 0808 808 0700
Works with children and adults with learning disabilities who have experienced abuse or trauma, as well as those who have abused others, through psychotherapy, advocacy, campaigning and other support. Respond also aims to prevent abuse by providing training, consultancy and research.
20 Great Dover Street
London, SE1 4LX
Adviceline 0808 808 7777
tel: 02920 81 1370
Branches throughout the UK. Provides information and support for carers on subjects such as benefits, residential care, respite care.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
tel: 0845 604 6610
textphone: 0845 604 6620
tel: 0845 604 8810
textphone: 0845 604 8820
Has a statutory remit to promote and monitor human rights; and to protect, enforce and promote equality across the seven "protected" grounds - age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Books Beyond Words are written for people who cannot read or have difficulty reading. These communicate simple, explicit messages through stories using coloured pictures that include mime and body language. Topics include going to the doctor, bereavement, sexual abuse and depression. Some of the titles are available online.
Website on mental health for people with a learning disability, their families and carers, and professionals and support workers.
Understanding intellectual disability and health
This website was developed as a collaboration between the Division of Mental Health at St George’s, University of London and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
A website where parents, carers and professionals working with learning disability can share practical tips and information on everything from brushing teeth to managing challenging behaviour.
Learning Disability Coalition
Coalition of 15 organisations whose aim is to make sure there is enough public funding for people with a learning disability so they have the same life chances and choices as everyone else.
The Norah Fry Research Centre
Part of the University of Bristol’s Department of Mental Health. The Norah Fry Research Centre researches issues affecting the lives of disabled children and adults with learning difficulties and their families and, through their research findings, aims to influence policy, improve services and support, empower and inform service users, families and professionals.
One for us
A website for people who have a learning difficulty, described as ‘not for carers or parents, it’s for you’.