Learning Disability Week 2017 is a welcome opportunity to come together to celebrate the achievements of people with learning disabilities. NHS figures estimate that around 1.5m people in the UK have a learning disability.
This year’s theme is employment; around 8 in 10 working age people with a learning disability have a mild or moderate learning disability, but fewer than 2 in 10 are in employment.
Research has indicated there are a number of barriers which make it harder for people with a learning disability to find work and stay in work. This includes negative attitudes and low expectations towards people with a learning disability from employers, managers and colleagues; skills and qualifications gaps, lack of flexible, personalised employment programmes and unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace.
The week aims to tackle the low levels of employment among people with learning disabilities by combating stigma and raising awareness of the benefits of employing people with a learning disability. Social stigma surrounding learning disability negatively influences, not only, employment, but many other areas of life. Below are some more facts about learning disability and society:
- Just 1 in 3 people with a learning disability take part in some form of education and training.
- Children with special educational needs (SEN) are twice as likely as other children to be bullied regularly.
- 40% of disabled children live in poverty.
- 75% of GPs have received no training to help them treat people with a learning disability.
- 7 out of 10 families have reached or come close to ‘breaking point’ because of a lack of short break services.
To find out more about Learning Disability Week 2017, and what you can do to help, you can visit the Mencap website, the leading voice on learning disability.