Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:
“We’ve seen the tragic consequences of not throwing a protective ring around people who rely on social care during the first lockdown. The Prime Minister must remember that it isn’t just people in care homes who need priority access – around half of the social care budget goes to working-aged disabled adults who mostly live in their own homes or supported living settings. People with a learning disability have died from COVID at over six times the rate of the general population, yet not all people with a learning disability who receive care are currently on the vaccine priority list. The Government must urgently give all people with a learning disability priority access to the vaccine – it will save lives.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on:
- 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).
Notes to editors
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.
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.