People with intellectual disabilities (ID)

An intellectual disability (ID) is also known as a learning disability (LD) or cognitive disability.

People with intellectual disabilities tend to refer to themselves as having learning disabilities.

We use the term intellectual disability in this website because it is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and increasingly used in discussions of accessibility.

An intellectual disability, or learning disability, is a mental impairment which is present from birth or acquired early in life. This results in a low IQ. This is a very simple definition.

It is more helpful understand that people with intellectual disabilities can be very different from each other.

People with intellectual disabilities might

  • learn slowly

  • have problems reading and writing

  • have problems using money

  • need the help of others to do ordinary things

  • find it difficult to talk and communicate

  • find it difficult to control or understand their feelings or behaviour

  • have other physical disabilities as well

Involving people with intellectual disabilities

Understanding intellectual disability