Jon Sparkes, chief executive at learning disability charity Mencap, said:

Listening to and working with people with a learning disability and their families to break down barriers and create opportunity should be high on the new Government’s priority list. For far too long, people with a learning disability have faced significant barriers and inequalities in their everyday lives. These must be addressed head-on.

People with a learning disability should be at the heart of plans for change.

We call on the Government to increase funding to end the social care crisis; change outdated Mental Health laws to end institutionalisation; ensure a benefits system that supports people with a learning disability; and tackle healthcare inequalities in plans to improve the NHS.

We look forward to working with the Government on these issues and making a real and tangible difference.


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson , or case study , please contact Mencap’s media team on: or 02076 965414 (including out of hours).        

Notes to editors:  

About Mencap:    
Mencap exists to ensure the UK is the best place in the world for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives. We support people directly and campaign with people with a learning disability, their families and carers. We work to change laws, increase representation and fight for better health, social care and employment opportunities for the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.

What is a learning disability?      
 A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which affects someone for their whole life. Typically, people with a learning disability need more time to learn and process information. They may need extra support to develop skills, complete tasks and interact with others, or they may have more complex needs requiring round-the clock care. The level of support needed is different for everyone and may change during a person’s lifetime.  
Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Often, the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used in place of ‘learning disability’. Having a learning difficulty (such as ADHD or dyslexia ) may mean a person learns at a different pace or in a different way BUT – unlike a learning disability - it does not affect a person’s intellect.  

With the right support, most people with a learning disability can lead happy, healthy, independent lives. At Mencap, it’s our mission to remove societal barriers and shatter misconceptions to make this more possible for more people.  

Mencap’s guide to reporting on Learning Disability  

When it comes to creating content with people with a learning disability, we know many people feel nervous about saying and doing the wrong thing. Our guide for journalists, covers everything from up-to-date facts and figures to the right language to use. It also includes tips on how to work with people with a learning disability to gather the best content.