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Learning Disability Awareness


Learning Disability Awareness Martin Lees & Sean Walsh Aims of this session: To understand what Learning Disability is and what impact it may have on a persons ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Learning Disability Awareness

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Learning Disability Awareness
Martin Lees Sean Walsh
Aims of this session
  • To understand what Learning Disability is and
    what impact it may have on a persons ability to
    learn, apply knowledge and develop skills in a
    sporting environment.
  • Any other specific Aims from you?

Learning outcomes for this session
  • By the end of this session you will be able to
  • Know how to engage and communicate with people
    who have a Learning Disability.
  • Develop accessible sessions / training
    programmes to include individuals with a Learning
  • To know where to go for further support in
    understanding Learning Disability.

Learning Disability Myths
  • A person with a Learning disability can not
  • Learning Difficulties, Learning Disabilities and
    Mental Health Conditions are the same.
  • A person with a Learning Disability will not
    accept change.
  • A person with a Learning Disability has
    Challenging Behaviour.

Mencaps Definition of Learning Disability
  • What is a learning disability? Our definition
  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual
    ability and difficulty with everyday activities
    for example household tasks, socialising or
    managing money which affects someone for their
    whole life.
  • People with a learning disability tend to take
    longer to learn and may need support to develop
    new skills, understand complicated information
    and interact with other people. 

What is a Learning Disability
  • A person with a Learning Disability has an
    impairment of the brain. Which means at times a
    persons capacity to make decisions may be in
    doubt. (Please see sign posting slides for Mental
    Capacity Act and contact Martin Lees to access
    Easy Read Guide for People with a Learning
    Disability to be active)
  • It can be difficult to diagnose a mild learning
    disability as the individual will often mix well
    with others and will be able to cope with most
    everyday tasks. 
  • People with a moderate learning disability may
    need more support with communication.
  • In relation to sport this may mean to take more
    time to get to know the persons specifics
    learning needs/preferences, preferred
    communicational aids, individuals coping
    mechanisms and their ability to process
    information. Sometimes a person may adopt certain
    techniques to help process information, which may
    be seen as challenging behaviour or repetitive

What is a Learning Disability Continued
  • Learning disability is often confused with
    dyslexia and mental health problems. Mencap
    describes dyslexia as a learning difficulty
    because, unlike learning disability, it does not
    affect intellect. 
  • Although Mencaps definition of Learning
    Disability does not include learning
    difficulties. It is still important to
    acknowledge a persons learning difficulty and get
    to know them and their specific learning needs,
    such as creating easy read documents or red tint
    backgrounds on written programmes for individuals
    with Dyslexia.

Difference in Learning
  • A person with a Learning Disability may have
    difficulty processing information and applying
    newly learned skills. For some people too much
    information can be overloading.
  • It may take more time to find a persons learning
    style and due to the persons individual ability
    to process new information you may have to break
    it down to smaller easier to understand tasks.
    (Do not assume a persons ability, ask them, work
    with them)

Top Tips A recommended coaching style would be to
work with the whole part whole method of learning
Adam Edwards Getting exercise makes me feel
better, and it makes me feel better about myself.
It helps me focus, and lose a bit of weight. Id
rather be fit and healthy rather than feel lazy
and sluggish
  • Top Tips
  • Where possible get to know the persons specific
    needs in advance of any sessions.
  • Allow time to process information.
  • Work with the person and use a variety of
    communication tools until you find one which
  • Build on the relationship and trust.
  • Get to know what motivates the individual
  • A communicational barrier is an obstacle in place
    which prevents the effective exchange of
  • A person may already have additional tools to
    facilitate communication.
  • A person may have information processing
    techniques such as repetition or mimicking.
    Facilitate their learning style. (this sometimes
    may appear that the person is not paying

Common Communicational Tools
Change Pictures
Easy Read
Assistive Technology
Objects of Reference
Use Simple Words
Behaviour as Communication
  • Sometimes an individual might communicate through
    their behaviour which could become challenging to
    the coach/ teacher and other learners.
  • Try to identify triggers to behaviour and manage
    these carefully. This could be anxiety at
    learning, anxiety of meeting new people, social
    anxiety, frustration from being overloaded with
    information or pain/ discomfort.
  • Look to calm the situation with diffusion,
    distraction and verbal calming strategies. (PBS
  • Think about your own communication body
    language, tone of voice etc.
  • Be proactive - try to stop a situation from
    escalating to prevent from becoming more serious.

Any Questions????????
  • https//www.mencap.org.uk/ (Mencap Website)
  • http//www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/barriers-communic
    ation.html (although not specific to Learning
    Disability this is a useful site to improve and
    reflect on effective communication techniques
  • http//www.mind.org.uk/information-support/legal-r
    SRGwodVBMC1A.V2zvLdQrLeN (5 Principals of the
    Mental Capacity Act 2005)
  • http//www.bild.org.uk/ (British Institute of
    Learning Disabilities)
  • http//www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/resources (Spe
    cial Olympics Resources Page)

Martin Lees (Mencap Sport) Martin.Lees_at_mencap.org
.uk 02076965584
  • Feel free to contact Martin (Mencap) for
  • Easy Read Guide for People with a Learning
    Disability to be active. (based around choice and
  • How to develop Easy Read documents
  • Mencap PBS (Positive Behavioural Support)
  • 3 hour workshop on Learning Disability and Sport
  • Any other queries
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