Every year, Mencap celebrates Learning Disability Week to raise awareness about the lives of people with learning disability.
But what is a learning disability?
According to NCBI, “refer to a number of disorders that may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, comprehension, or the use of both verbal or nonverbal information. Rephrased, individuals with LDs have specific issues with learning, but they preserve an average or above-average intelligence quotient”. Some common LDs include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and other nonverbal LDs such as right hemisphere developmental LD.
Beyond the clinical definition, however, is an advocacy to treat people with learning disabilities as one and the same as any other human being. Mencap breaks this down into three beautiful tenets, namely:
- Educate and raise awareness about learning disabilities
- Smash stigmas and end discrimination
- Fight and campaign for a fair society
This year, the theme for Learning Disability Week (#LDWeek22), which happens on June 20-26, 2022, tackles three important aspects in the lives of people with learning disabilities. These include reconnecting with friends and communities, coping with post-pandemic restrictions, and dealing with isolation and poor mental health and anxiety after COVID restrictions have ended.
To further the discussion, Mencap raises questions for people who want to take part in the advocacy:
Life changes from the pandemic
Mencap asks, “how has the pandemic changed your life”.
To which I answer:
The pandemic has been a real life-changing event for everyone.
And I am not exempt from this horrible nightmare.
Personally, I have felt devastated over and over again at the thought of people suffering and dying from COVID-19. And as an advocate of health and safety both in the workplace and at home, I cringe at the thought that another event like this might ever occur again.
I can only imagine how this might be for people with learning disabilities.
The extent of damage that a global crisis like this might have on them is unfathomable, especially to the young children growing up in a society where isolation and social distancing has become second nature.
It is a sad truth that we all must live with, at the end of each day.
Mental health and anxiety despite lifted COVID restrictions
Mencap poses a great follow-up to the first question about how life has changed because of the pandemic.
To have to cope with a pandemic-stricken society takes its toll on the mental health of anyone, and people with learning disabilities are not excluded.
Imagine having to exist where your surroundings force you to always take extra precautions, to isolate yourself and cause you to lose touch with people within your own communities, and, to a certain extent, even your family.
Now, imagine going through that whilst also dealing with the fact that comprehension and acquisition of information is a challenge in itself.
This is where the third question comes in.
Reconnecting with family, friends, and the community
The support system we all deserve, especially for people living with learning disabilities.
For a time, however, ties were temporarily severed to give way to precaution.
Thankfully, with the easing and lifting of COVID restrictions, we all have been given a second chance to reconnect and rebuild relationships. And in honor of people with learning disabilities, let’s make an extra effort to reach out and help them reclaim lost ties with the community.
Slowly, I believe, we can all re-integrate back again into society.
One step at a time.
Need more help?
Learn more coping tips from our Mental Health Awareness Courses at