Why you should join us

People with a learning disability or autism often experience poorer access to healthcare and poorer outcomes. We encourage people to enter learning disability and autism services in a variety of roles. These roles focus on helping people to liver happier, more fulfilling lives.

Across health and social care there are a range of roles working with people with learning disabilities and autistic people. They support people to live happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives. People are needed across health and social care to offer this support.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is defined by the Department of Health as a significantly reduced ability to understand new and complex information or to learn new skills (impaired intelligence), along with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning), which started before adulthood.

The NHS expands on this definition, adding: a learning disability affects the way a person learns new things throughout their lifetime. A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. This means they can have difficulty understanding new or complex information, learning new skills, or coping independently.

Around 1.2 million people in the United Kingdom have a learning disability.

Some people with a mild learning disability can look after themselves independently, but they may need a bit longer than usual to learn new skills. Other people may not be able to communicate at all, and they may have other disabilities as well or they may need help with everyday tasks. Some people with a learning disability may also be autistic.

What is autism?

Being autistic means your brain works in a different way from other people.

It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.

If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.

Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. Autistic people can and do live full lives, but some people need support to help them with certain things. Some autistic people need little or no support. Others may need help from a parent or carer every day.

Like everyone, autistic people have things they’re good at as well as things they struggle with.

Autistic people may:

  • find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
  • find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful, or uncomfortable
  • get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events

Autism is different for everyone; autism is a spectrum. This means everybody with autism is different.