Communicating with people with a learning disability

Working with someone with a learning disability may challenge your idea of what communication is, and how you make yourself understood.

It may make you think about your tone of voice and your body language as well as the words you use, and remind you that communication is not just about talking but also about listening.

This information is designed to provide a brief introduction to communication, and the problems faced by someone with a learning disability. It also contains tips on how you can be a better communicator, and how you can help someone with a learning disability to get their message across.

This information is also available to download as a PDF.

 Communication is really important because that's the way of expressing yourself. If we don't communicate clearly with each other, there's no point in communicating at all.   


What is communication?

Everyone can communicate and everyone is an individual in the way they communicate.

Having a communication difficulty

The problems faced by people with a communication difficulty.

Being a good communication partner

Our advice on how to become a good communication partner for people with a learning disability.

Making communication work

Whatever way you are trying to communicate with someone with a learning disability, there are some simple rules you can follow for good communication.

Top tips for communication

Our list of top tips to aid comunication with people with a communication difficulty.

Further help

The following websites and organisations contain information on developing your communication skills and knowledge.

All about learning disability: information for professionals

Read Mencap's guidelines to good practice when working with someone with a learning disability, and access our latest training and resources.