What is a learning disability?
A learning disability affects the way a person learns new things in any area of life, not just at school. Find out how a learning disability can affect someone, and where you can find support. A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5m people in the UK have one.
This means they can have difficulty:
- understanding new or complex information
- learning new skills
- coping independently
10 FACTS ABOUT DISABILITY (ADD.org.uk)
- AN ESTIMATED 1 BILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE ARE DISABLED.
This corresponds to about 15% of the world's population. Of this billion people, between 110-190 million adults have very significant challenges
- RATES OF DISABILITY ARE INCREASING.
The number of disabled people is increasing due to population ageing and the global rise in chronic health conditions. War is also a major cause of disability. For every person killed in warfare, many are injured and permanently disabled.
- DISABILITY AFFECTS ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO ALREADY ARE VULNERABLE.
Disability is more common among people living in poverty, and 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries (WHO). In fact, lower-income countries have a higher prevalence of disability than higher-income countries.
- DISABLED PEOPLE OFTEN DO NOT RECEIVE NEEDED HEALTH CARE.
Disabled people are nearly 3 times more likely to report being denied care than non-disabled people; 2 times more likely to find healthcare provider skills or equipment inadequate for their needs; 4 times more likely to report being treated badly by health professionals
- CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES ARE LESS LIKELY TO ATTEND SCHOOL.
The estimated global number of disabled children under age 18 is 150 million (UNICEF, 2006). Disabled children are significantly more likely to be out of school than non-disabled children in every country, according to a study of data from seven countries. This happens everywhere, but the situation is extremely grim in poorer areas, and in particular for girls with disabilities.
- WOMEN AND CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES ARE OFTEN VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE.
Disabled children are 3-4 times more likely to experience violence and sexual abuse than non-disabled children (Lancet, 2011).Some forms of violence are specific to children with disabilities. For example, they may be subject to violence administered under the guise of treatment for behaviour modification, including electroconvulsive treatment, drug therapy or electric shocks (UNICEF, 2013).
Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. We know that an incredible amount of women worldwide experienced physical or sexual violence from men at some point in their lives – usually by their husband, partner or someone they know. This unacceptable situation is even worse for disabled girls and women:
"Women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience domestic violence and other forms of gender-based and sexual violence as non-disabled women, and are likely to experience abuse over a longer period of time and to suffer more severe injuries as a result of the violence." (Violence Against Women with Disabilities Working Group, 2012)
- DISABLED PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE UNEMPLOYED.
Employment rates tend to drastically fall for disabled people. For example, we know that employment rates for disabled people are lower than for non-disabled people in 12 out of 15 countries that were studied the World Bank in 2011.
- DISABLED PEOPLE ARE VULNERABLE TO POVERTY.
People with disabilities are generally poorer – they need to spend more in medical care or personal support, and at the same time they need to overcome huge barriers which prevent them from earning a living.
Therefore, often they have worse living conditions – including insufficient food, poor housing, lack of access to safe water and sanitation. Often, disabled people are denied the most basic rights, such as access to an education, health care, employment, political participation, social and family life.
- REHABILITATION SERVICES ARE OFTEN INADEQUATE.
Rehabilitation helps to maximise functioning and support independence. However, rehabilitation services are often in-existent or inappropriate. Disabled people living in poverty often don't receive the medical rehabilitation they need, and many don't have access to assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, prostheses, hearing aids). You may find more info on the WHO Guidelines on Health-Related Rehabilitation.
- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES CAN LIVE AND PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMUNITY.
ADD International's projects have shown that attitudes against disability are the main barrier, and that this can be changed. We educate disabled people on their own rights and we change the attitudes of their communities.
Information provided via the Wolrd Health Organization's website. For up-to-date FACTS please visit: http://www.add.org.uk/
Goldsmith Personnel provides specialist Services in Learning Disabilities, challenging Behaviour, Autism, mental health & Brain injury.