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What is a learning disability?

A learning disability refers to:

  • a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence), with;
  • a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning);
  • which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development

There are many reasons why this happens. Most frequently to an impairment causes or contributes to developing a learning disability. This can happen before, during or after birth.


What services are available in my area?

We offer a large number of services around the country. To track down which services are near you, just use our Find a Service tool.


How do I get a referral to a service?

Each of our services has their own local referral procedure. To find out the process for your service, it's best to call them directly. They'll explain how it works and provide you with the support you need. Go to Find a Service to get the right contact numbers.


Will my details be kept confidential?

We treat all personal information in strictest confidence. We would only pass on information if we were concerned that you, or another person, might be at risk.


Who pays for services?

The government pay for us to deliver our services for a given period of time. At the moment these commissions can come from a Local Authority or the NHS. ceive direct payments or have a personal budget you can buy our services directly. For more information please contact your local service manager.


What type of services do you provide?

We offer services for people with learning and physical disabilities. This includes people who are on the autistic spectrum, those in transition (moving from one stage of support to another) and those who have dementia.

Our services include:

  • Day opportunities
  • Outreach support
  • Supported living
  • Residential care
  • Residential care with nursing
  • Autistic spectrum disorder services


What are complex needs?

A person with complex needs is someone who has more than one need or who has been diagnosed with more than one condition.

Sometimes this is also called 'multiple needs', 'dual diagnosis', 'high support needs' or 'complex health needs'. For example, a person might have a learning disability and a mental health issue. The term can also refer to people who are harder to reach - those who have significant unmet needs.


How can I get involved?

There are a number of ways. Every service has a dedicated involvement champion. It's their job to make sure your voice is heard and that you can get involved in the service we provide, in the following ways:

  • Helping produce our new family and carers newsletter 'The Link'
  • Asking your dedicated involvement champion
  • Completing and collecting feedback forms
  • Gathering tenants satisfaction survey
  • Getting involved in networks and meetings


What do the terms profound, severe, moderate and mild learning disability mean?

These words describe the level of learning disability. One common way to establish the 'degree' of learning disability is to use the measure of IQ.

But knowing the degree of learning disability a person has doesn't say much about who they are and the kind of support they might need. What's more, the way disabilities impact on people's lives will vary greatly.


What is a direct payment?

These are cash payments made to people who have been assessed as needing financial support, instead of a social service provision. This empowers them to choose how they want to be supported and buy products and services according to their needs.

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