Support for people with a learning difficulty or difference

Image shows a picture of a Rubik's cude.AbilityNet is a pan-disability charity that believes in a digital world accessible to all. Our 300+ volunteers help people make adjustments to their technology so that it is easier to use. Our support includes helping people who have a learning disability or difficulty. 

There are many terms associated with learning disabilities or difficulties. These include 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).

    Digital Lifeline is an emergency response project delivering devices, data, and digital skills support to digitally excluded people with learning disabilities. It’s funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Good Things Foundation in partnership with AbilityNet and Digital Unite. The project is also supported by Learning Disability England, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, self-advocates and other disability and digital inclusion organisations. 

    Featured stories

    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.

    What is the difference between learning difficulties and learning disabilities?

    Highlighting learning differences reveals that many of the ‘difficulties’ individuals experience, particularly when learning, come from how our education system works.

    Learning difficulties

    People who have a condition that we may now class as a learning ‘difference’ might feel that they experience learning difficulties. 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. 

    For charities offering support and information, see our Useful Links page.


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