Jackie O'Sullivan, Executive Director of Communication, Advocacy & Activism at learning disability charity Mencap, said

What about people with a learning disability? One key to independence is a job but long before COVID many people with a learning disability were shut out of employment. That’s why the government must make sure its employment schemes are accessible and inclusive. 

“We know that with the right support people with a learning disability can make fantastic employees and that they have so much to give to help us rebuild after COVID. Many have proved their worth during the pandemic – with some working as the keyworkers we’ve all relied on to keep things moving.  

“The pandemic has already thrown the world of work upside down and altered businesses in ways we couldn’t have imagined - it is crucial that people with a learning disability are part of this revolution as we move forwards.” 


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: media@mencap.org.uk. Please note we are currently experiencing issues with our usual press line number (020 7696 5414) and it will be up and running again soon. 

Notes to editors:   

About Mencap     

There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want: www.mencap.org.uk        

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email helpline@mencap.org.uk.              

What is a learning disability?    

  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;    
  • Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;     
  • People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.