Learning Disability Coalition

Learning Disability Coalition represents 10 learning disability organisations that have come together to form one group with one voice.


The coalition believes people with a learning disability have the right to live independent lives with the support they need. The coalition wants to make sure the government provides enough public money so that people with a learning disability have the same choices and chances as everyone else. Their aim is to make sure there is enough public funding for people with a learning disability so they have the same life chances and choices.

The coalition wants to:

  • Provide a unified voice to government and other key stakeholders
  • Gather evidence on cuts to services at local level
  • Raise awareness of the financial pressures on services for people with learning disabilities, and campaign for better funding
  • Achieve an evidence-based assessment of the long-term resource requirements for people with learning disabilities.

Pledge your support

‘We call on the government to make sure there is enough money getting through the system to honour the promises it has made of more choice and control for the 1.5m people affected.’ Sign up to their petition. They will also email you updates on the work of the coalition.

The coalition’s 10 member organisations

Association for Real Change (ARC): “Many local authorities present the closure of ‘old fashioned’ day centres as a service improvement in line with Government policy. Sometimes it is, but often there are people who lose out in such changes, especially those with more challenging behaviour, higher support needs and/or communication difficulties.” James Churchill, CEO, Association for Real Change (ARC)

British Institute of Learning Disabilities: “BILD can see that, due to cost savings, the quality of support available to people with learning disabilities is getting worse.” Keith Smith, Chief Executive, British Institute of Learning Disabilities.

Down’s Syndrome Association (UK): “The government’s Valuing People agenda promised so much – the coalition will make sure that those promises are fulfilled.” Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down’s syndrome Association.

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities: “We could be facing a generation of people with higher support needs who will rely on tracheotomies, tube feeding and ventilators to survive. Funding for this level of support must be built into the system.” Barbara McIntosh, Co-Director, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

Mencap: “We need to turn rhetoric into reality.” Dame Jo Williams, Chief Executive, Menca.

People First: “There are too few people actually getting the things that the white paper talked about like person centred plans and free health checks. Human rights abuses are going on every day in our communities suffered by people with learning difficulties and it is time something was done about it.” Andrew Lee, Director, People First.

Sense: “Sense supports and campaigns for people who have complex and sensory needs. We are joining the Learning Disability Coalition to push for changes in policy development and in the level and use of funding for marginalised people. These people are increasingly losing out – the processes and criteria for support must change.” Tony Best , Chief Executive, Sense.

The National Forum for People with Learning Difficulties: The coalition wants a high level review to get a clearer picture of the resources that are needed to keep pace with a growing population and to ensure there is funding for the services needed today and in the future.” Karen Flood, Co-Chair, The National Forum for People with Learning Difficulties.

Turning Point: “One of our key concerns is the number of people that are still in institutional settings, for example, those living in large NHS campuses, or the rising numbers of people with learning disabilities being sent out of area to live in independent hospitals. We would call on the government to speed up their proposed review of NHS support for people with a learning disability.” Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive, Turning Point.

United Response: “We hope that the coalition will provide a unified voice to raise awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities and the key issues facing them.” Su Sayer, Chief Executive, United Respons.

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