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Everyone with a learning disability has their own needs and capabilities but understanding what learning disability is – and what it is not – can help ensure each individual is supported in the right way.

Learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone for their whole life. It is often confused with learning difficulty and mental health issues.  However, learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, do not affect intellect.  Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and may be overcome with treatment, which is not true of learning disability.


Learning disability can be caused by specific conditions, such as Down Syndrome, birth trauma or early childhood illnesses. Learning disability may be mild, moderate or severe and people may also have associated sensory and/or physical impairments. 


People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complex information and interact with other people.  Unfortunately, many people with a learning disability still experience lack of understanding, discrimination and difficulty accessing mainstream services.  However, with the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can lead independent lives. 


City of Chelmsford Mencap is facing these challenges and embarking on an exciting period of development, including the extension of its Outreach Academy programme and the introduction of Discover Health, an innovative initiative that will directly address the low life expectancy of people with a learning disability.


Our members make the most of every opportunity for fun, learning and realising their potential. They are the embodiment of our motto: Life’s for living, live it well.

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