The 14th – 20th of June is Learning Disability Week; an awareness event ran by the leading charity Mencap. This is a chance for the charity to raise awareness of learning disabilities in the UK and the impact on people’s lives. As well as raising money for their vital work and celebrating the lives of those with learning disabilities.
Here at Careers with Disabilities, we believe that awareness days and weeks are a chance to shine a national spotlight on an otherwise overlooked section of our society so that we can all better understand the lives of people with learning disabilities. There are plenty of ways you can show your support this year.
What is a Learning Disability?
A learning disability is not a single disability but a collection of how a person’s learning and communication are affected. A person can have a mild, moderate or severe learning disability, and each can manifest in a variety of different ways. Roughly 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability. This due to a disruption in a person’s brain development either before birth, during pregnancy, or early life.
Learning disabilities affect a person’s ability to communicate and interpret information. Meaning they may struggle to live independently, understand complex information, or adapt to new environments. It is important to remember that each person will have their own set of needs and challenges. Some people can lead independent lives and only struggle to take in information quickly. At the same time, other people may need more structured care.
Who are Mencap?
Mencap are the UK’s leading learning disability charity. They work tirelessly to help transform the lives of those with a learning disability and their families and carers. They state clearly that their mission is to create an equal and fair world for those with learning disabilities. Where everyone is listened to, valued and supported, no matter the ability.
Mencap are a disability confident employer showcasing their organisation and work on the Careers with Disabilities company profiles. Find out more information here.
Learning Disability Week 2021
The theme for this year’s Learning Disability Week is Art and Creativity. Mencap decided on this as the theme for the positive impact of getting creative on the learning disability community throughout the pandemic. Evidence shows that art and creativity can help relieve some of the daily symptoms of mental distress. It’s a way to channel complex thoughts and feelings and focus the mind away from life’s preoccupations.
Mencap have revealed that those with learning disabilities are twice as likely to experience mental health problems. Making the positive impacts of creativity even more critical for this community.
Getting creative is also a straightforward and fun way to bring people together and feel connected. This year, you could get involved in a creative project to raise money for Mencap. Or you could work with a local school to promote awareness of learning disabilities through arts and crafts. For more ideas on how to celebrate this week, head to the Mencap website.
If you are an employer looking to become Disability Confident, have a look at our services and how we can support you.