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With a number of different categories of learning disabilities (LD) that impact at least 15-20% of the population around the globe, it is important to take some time to increase public understanding and raise awareness about these difficulties. Learning Disability Week is observed annually in the UK by educators, parents, care organizations, government agencies and more. 

History of Learning Disability Week

Learning Disability Week got its start in the UK several years ago with the purpose of giving a voice to those whose voices may have been less recognized because of their learning disabilities. The event was started by the folks at the charitable organization called Mencap, which is dedicated to working with and helping those with learning disabilities along with their families and caregivers.

In addition to increasing public awareness and educating people about the unique ways that people with learning disabilities function in the world, Learning Disability Week seeks to provide opportunities for advocacy, fight for equal rights and challenge prejudices.

Each year, the organizations that sponsor Learning Disability Week share a theme that helps people celebrate with an eye on a specific topic of interest. In past years, some of the topics have included:

  • Do You See Me? (2024) 
  • Busting Myths About Life with a Learning Disability (2023)
  • Living Life with a Learning Disability (2022)
  • Art and Creativity (2021)

How to Celebrate Learning Disability Week

Looking for ideas on how to observe Learning Disability Week? Consider some of these ideas to get started:

Get Educated About Learning Disabilities 

In honor of Learning Disability Week, get more informed about learning disabilities by reading personal stories of those who have struggled. Or connect by learning some statistics or important facts that might help gain a better understanding of the impact of learning disabilities on individuals and their families. Consider some of these facts about different learning disabilities:

  • The most common learning disability is dyslexia, a reading disability that represents at least 80% of all LDs

  • There are no medical interventions, but LDs can be addressed through instructional interventions, accommodations and assistive technology

  • While ADHD may not always imply a learning disability, it is estimated that about 50% of people with LDs may also have ADHD

  • Learning disabilities are not related to intelligence and many people with LDs may have above-average intelligence

Share About Learning Disabilities

One of the best ways to show support for Learning Disability Week is to get more informed and then share with others. This could happen through conversations with the family over the dinner table, it might be something that is discussed at work with colleagues, or perhaps it would be helpful to share stories and experiences over social media. An important way to increase acceptance and reduce stigma is to normalize and make learning disabilities more acceptable.

Host a Learning Disability Week Event

Educators, community group organizers and others might consider hosting an event in honor of Learning Disability Week. Offer educational workshops, access to intervention specialists, training for parents and caregivers, or invite people with learning disabilities to share their stories of success with the world.

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