In our new policy briefing we set out what we believe, and how you can help to support our mission. We have also presented some key statistics about the lives of people with a learning disability in Wales.
What we believe and how can you help
Learning Disability Wales is a national charity representing the learning disability sector in Wales. Everything that we do focuses on creating a Wales that values and includes every child, young person and adult with a learning disability.
We do this through working with people with a learning disability and their families, Welsh Government, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations and the voluntary sector so we can create a better Wales for all people with a learning disability.
We believe that every child, young person or adult with a learning disability has the right to:
- Be valued and respected
- Have a meaningful life
- Be able to learn, develop and have access to meaningful education and training throughout life
- Be seen, heard, included and have a voice
- Be in control of their life
- Have friendships, relationships and a social life
- Be a contributing citizen.
What we know about people with a learning disability in Wales
- There are about 15,000 adults with a learning disability known to social services in Wales and potentially at least a further 60,000 people with a learning disability who are not known to social services. That is about 2.5 percent of the population.
- People with a learning disability are living longer than ever.
- There are over 100,000 children in Wales who have an additional learning need. Many of those children have a learning disability. There are almost 5,000 pupils in special schools in Wales.
- People with a learning disability still face significant stigma in society.
- Too many people with a learning disability in Wales spend too long in hospitals and are prescribed mood altering medication too often.
- A third of families in Wales with a disabled child are living in poverty.
- Only 6 percent of people who have a learning disability in the UK are in employment.
- 56 percent of people with a learning disability in the UK have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their learning disability.
- Disabled women in Wales are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as their disabled peers.
- Children with additional learning needs are too often excluded from school 1 in 3 people with a learning disability spend less than an hour outside of their homes on a Saturday.
- Only 3 percent of adults with a learning disability in the UK live as part of a couple compared to 70 percent of the rest of the population.
We are asking you to:
- Create a society that includes, values and respects people with a learning disability.
- Create an inclusive education system for children and adults with and without a learning disability.
- Close the learning disability employment gap.
- Co-produce laws, policy and practice with people with a learning disability and give disabled people real control in issues that affect them.
- Ensure that people with a learning disability have control of their own lives.
Sources used in the policy briefing:
- Contact (2018): Counting The Cost – Research into the finances of more than 2,700 families across the UK in 2018 (opens as PDF)
- Mencap (2016): First in-depth research on public attitudes towards learning disability for 30 years’ reveals confusion, support yet small group of negative attitudes
- Mencap (2019): New research from Mencap shows bullying of people with a learning disability leading to social isolation
- NHS Digital (2018): Measures from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, England, 2018-19
- Safe Lives (2017): Disabled Survivors Too: Disabled people and domestic abuse
- Shane Mills, Martyn French and Adrian Clarke (2020): Improving Care, Improving Lives -Chief Nursing Officer’s National Care Review of Learning Disabilities Hospital Inpatient Provision Managed or Commissioned by NHS Wales
- Welsh Government (2018): Learning Disability – Improving Lives Program