Mark Capper, Head of Development in the Lifestyles & Work team at the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“Once again we see a huge difference in the number of disabled people employed compared to the general population – with a gap of over 20% (22.8%). And for people with a learning disability, we know it’s likely to be even worse.
“Times are hard for everyone right now but there is a worry that the current economic climate will add to barriers and widen inequalities even further. Many people with a learning disability and/or autism can work and want to work but they are often shut out of jobs. Yet Mencap has supported people into employment who have spent 2020 working in supermarkets, warehouses, and hospitals across the country – the keyworkers we have all relied on to keep things moving.
“This Learning Disability Work Week it’s time for employers to think about how they can be part of the solution as we move forward, and open doors to an untapped talent pool of dedicated and loyal employees.”
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For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Mencap’s media team on:
- 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
There are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.