Tech support for people with a learning disability or difference

Many terms are associated with learning disabilities or differences, including conditions such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Autism, ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome. Previously classified as Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), we now commonly group these conditions as Specific Learning Differences (SPLD).

    What is the difference between learning differences and learning disabilities?

    Using the term learning 'differences' reveals that many of the learning ‘difficulties’ that individuals experience come from how our education system works.

    Learning differences

    People who have a condition that we may now class as a learning ‘difference’ might feel that they experience difficulties learning new skills. So, telling them that it is due to their brain's normal and natural evolution won't help them overcome the genuine barriers to learning they are experiencing. 

    Learning disabilities

    Learning disabilities is a term currently used to refer to reduced intellectual abilities and difficulties with everyday tasks. It may result from a genetic condition such as Downs or Fragile X syndrome or be the result of acquired brain damage, such as an injury or stroke.

    How tech helps people with learning disabilities

    Digital Lifeline for people with learning disabilities

    Digital Lifeline is a government-funded emergency response project delivering devices, data, and digital skills support. Find out about AbilityNet's role within it.

    A movement for positive change: Digital Lifeline

    Stoke-on-Trent council gave 100 tablets to people with learning disabilities. With support from AbilityNet, they're exploring hobbies and interests. Find out about AbilityNet's role in it.

    Growing independence for Jameela

    When Jameela moved house a few weeks ago, she could shop online and furnish her new flat thanks to a national project encouraging digital skills among people with learning disabilities.

    Positive change emerges from Chrysalis project

    How we've support Cumbrian charity, Chrysalis, to deliver tablets to adults with learning disabilities

    Shortcut to tablet success

    Janet Groves received a tablet through the Digital Lifeline Fund. She has used Action Blocks for easy access to regular tasks, and her confidence has grown.

    Tablet is a pop hit with Susan

    Showaddywaddy fan Susan Russell has used her new tablet to explore her love of music via YouTube. Tech helps her keep in touch with family and friends.

    Productivity boost for people with learning disabilities

    Technology support has helped Jennyruth workshops in its work, boosting confidence for people with learning disabilities.

    Building confidence with a (DJ) mix of tech support

    Tech-savvy Leannda mixes music at home. Having access to a FREE tablet, and support from AbilityNet has boosted her confidence.

    Tablet gifts a birthday surprise

    Katy Perry fan, Stacey Web overcame her fears to buy a birthday gift for her sister. She feels more confident and positive. She aims to start using Facebook Messenger.

    Help and advice for people with learning disabilities  

    These resources were developed as part of the Digital Lifeline Project that delivered devices, data and support to digitally excluded people with learning disabilities. It was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Good Things Foundation, AbilityNet and Digital Unite, supported by Learning Disability England, Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, self-advocates and other disability and digital inclusion organisations.