The campaign was started on the back of the finding that there are 1.4 million people in the UK with a learning disability, but there are still many people who do not know what a learning disability is and isn't. Many people will think of a condition such as dyslexia as a learning disability, but that is normally considered a learning difficulty. People who have a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills and live their normal life. The level of support each individual sufferer will need will vary. For example, someone with a mild learning disability may only need support with things like keeping track of finances but someone with a severe or profound learning disability may have severe physical disabilities and need full-time care and support with every aspect of their life. They may rely on living aids, a wheelchair or mobility scooter to move around and need help with tasks such as bathing or dressing. Learning disabilities affect people with other conditions too. For example, people with Down’s syndrome and some people with autism have a learning disability. It is sadly the case that a misunderstanding of the needs of people with learning disabilities can lead to a lack of opportunities. With the help of campaigns such as this one, Mencap hope to help strive to ensure that people with a learning disability are treated as equals in our society.
People with learning disabilities still face many obstacles, from difficulty in finding a job to being misunderstood by members of society, who do not understand the impact of disability on the individual and their carers.
The aim of this multimedia campaign, supported by Mencap, NHS and actor Kit Harington who plays character Jon Snow in the hit HBO programme, Game of Thrones, is to raise awareness of learning disabilities and promote equal treatment and opportunities, whatever the disability.