Learning Disabilities

What is a learning disability?

The term learning disability refers to a group of disorders which affect a broad range of academic and functional skills including the ability to speak, listen, read, write, spell and organise information.

A 2017 Scottish Health Needs report provides the following definition for learning disabilities:

“People with learning disabilities have a significant, lifelong condition that started before adulthood, that affected their development and which means they need help to understand information, learn skills and cope independently.”

Key Facts about Learning Disabilities

  • 120,000 people in Scotland have learning disabilities
  • 20 people in every 1,000 have a mild or moderate learning disability.
  • 3 to 4 people in every 1,000 have a profound or multiple learning disability.

Source:Truesdale, M. & Brown, M. (2017). People with Learning Disabilities in Scotland: 2017 Health Needs Assessment Update Report. Glasgow: NHS Health Scotland.

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