Learning difficulties
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Difference between learning disability and learning difficulty?

bevansbevans Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited June 2018 in Learning difficulties
I am a postgraduate student and am hoping to do some research working with adults with learning disabilities/ difficulties.

HOWEVER I am new to the community and I am still ignorant of the correct terminology so was wondering if someone would be able to distinguish the difference between learning disability and learning difficulty. Everywhere I've looked seems to say something different and I want to use empowering language in my research and make sure not to reinforce ableist terminology or points of view!

Hope this makes sense,

B x


  • greatsaygreatsay Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Learning difficulties are used in educational settings. Learning disabilities is an actual diagnosis when the person has an IQ under 70. Community learning disability teams now use intellectual disability instead of learning disabilities.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,537 Disability Gamechanger
    There is absolutely no consensual view on the difference between the terms at all and local authorities do not comply with any specific naming regime. I say that as someone who until recently worked next to a learning disability team.
  • AlexAlex Scope Posts: 1,324 Pioneering
    At Scope we usually say "learning difficulty" because we follow the social model of disability - where disabilities are the barriers in society - rather than the medical condition, so "learning disability" doesn't make sense. 

    However "learning disability" is much more commonly used. Mencap, for example, describes themselves as "the voice of learning disability".

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