This month, Mencap’s #LDWEEK22 campaign is all about making sure the world hears what life is like if you have a learning disability

This June, Learning Disability Week (20th-26th June 2022) will celebrate the amazing impact of people with a learning disability in our society and shine a light on the issues many still face. 

This year’s theme around ‘Living Life with a Learning Disability’ will demonstrate the positive aspect of living with a learning disability and help educate and raise awarenessfor those who don’t yet know what a learning disability is, or what life can be like for somebody that has one.

In a Mencap survey, it was revealed that two thirds of people cannot correctly identify a learning disability as a reduced intellectual ability – with 40% of Brits thinking it’s dyslexia and 28% believing it to relate to a mental health issue[i]. 

From models to athletes, TV stars to activists, people with a learning disability can lead positive, fulfilling lives challenging misconceptions and busting myths about what living life with a learning disability looks like. 

There are 1.5 million people in the UK living with a learning disability and Mencap are here to help them live life to the fullest.

This year, we want Learning Disability Week to:  

  • Educate and raise awareness about learning disability  
  • Smash stigmas and show the positive element of living life with a learning disability 
  • Fight and campaign for a fair society

Ciara Lawrence, Engagement Lead at the learning disability charity Mencap who herself has a learning disability, said: “Learning Disability Week is a fantastic way of promoting and celebrating our diverse community while telling the world what it’s really like to have a learning disability and showing the amazing things we can do. 

“When I was younger, I remember feeling down and speaking to my mum about all the great things everyone else was doing that may not happen to me, but 21 years later I’m progressing in my career and happily married for nearly 10 years. I am so proud of everything I’ve achieved and hitting these milestones that people didn’t think could happen for people with a learning disability.

“I have everything I’ve ever dreamed off and more and I only wish the same for other people with a learning disability.”

Edel Harris OBE, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said: “My son Ross was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome when he was five years old and the early discussions with our GP painted a bleak picture of his future that he wouldn’t be able to do various things, such as tie his own shoelaces or be able to live independently. Although it hasn’t been easy at times, he is now living a life that far exceeded anyone’sexpectations. Ross is happily married, has two supported employment jobs and is also a Special Olympian. My son is living a fulfilled life – and that first doctor we spoke to had set such low expectations.   

“We want the UK to be the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives and I hope that this Learning Disability Week will bring about increased awareness and reduce stigma. Everyone with a learning disability deserves to feel valued and celebrated, just like anyone else.”

Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. To find out more, visit www.mencap.org.uk/LDWeek.