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Kent and Medway SAB

Learning Disability Week 2024

What is a Learning Disability?

The term ‘Learning Disability’ is defined by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as “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”. This definition highlights that a learning disability is lifelong and varies in degree from mild to profound.

It is also important to recognise that a learning disability is different to a learning difficulty, which is defined as “a reduced intellectual ability for a specific form of learning and includes conditions such as dyslexia (reading), dyspraxia (affecting physical co-ordination) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  A person with a learning disability may also have one or more learning difficulties”.

Learning Disability Week 2024

The Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board are supporting the National Learning Disability Week (17-23 June 2024), hosted by Mencap.

This year’s theme is ‘Do you see me?’ which is all about being seen, heard and valued. It aims to challenge the barriers that people with learning disabilities face and to celebrate their contributions to society. The topics of each day are:

  • Monday 17 June: "Do you see me?"
  • Tuesday 18 June: "Do you understand me?"
  • Wednesday 19 June: "Will you work with me?"
  • Thursday 20 June: "Do you hear me?"
  • Friday 21 June: "Do you include me?"
  • Saturday 22 June: "Will you support me?"
  • Sunday 23 June: A summary of the week.

Do you know how to report concerns if you are worried about someone with a Learning Disability?

Promoting a better understanding of the barriers that people with a learning disability face will allow them to be safe in communities and free from the risk of discrimination, hate crime and abuse.

Adult safeguarding is about keeping people safe and protecting them from abuse and neglect, including self-neglect, wherever possible. Safeguarding enquiries should be made where:

  • a person is 18 years or over;
  • a person has needs for care and support;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of their care and support needs, is unable to protect him or herself against abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

Abuse and neglect can take many forms and can happen anywhere. More information on what adult safeguarding is and the types of abuse can be found on the 'what is adult safeguarding?' page.

To report concerns visit the KMSAB ‘report abuse’ page.

Useful links and resources

Local resources

National resources