Specific needs and disabilities

For more information on your specific needs, visit the links outlined below.

Learning disabilities

Having a learning disability means that people find it harder to learn certain life skills. The problems experienced vary from person to person but may include:

  • learning new things
  • communication
  • managing money
  • reading
  • writing
  • personal care

A person with Learning Disabilities and their carers will be supported by Adult Social Care to be as independent as possible. To live the life they choose in the community of their choice, with the same opportunities as others to lead a fulfilling life.

We ensure access to education, work, and leisure opportunities, with the same rights as any person. To live where they want, with whom they want and in safety.

Visit the People First website for information on learning disabilities.

Visit the People First website for information on assessment and support for people with learning disabilities.

Physical disabilities

A physical disability is any type of physical condition that significantly affects the way you carry out everyday tasks or activities.

Types of physical disabilities, their causes, and how they impact a person's life are wide-ranging. They can be the result of:

  • congenital birth issues
  • accidental injury, or illness

A person may also have more than one physical condition.

Equipment and adaptations can help you live more independently and confidently in your own home. Support you are getting out and about in your local community.

For example, if you:

  • find it difficult to carry out day-to-day activities, such as having a bath or a shower
  • find it hard getting around your home, such as going up and down the stairs
  • sometimes feel unsafe in your own home

There are many types of equipment that might help, such as:

  • Bath seats
  • Trolleys for carrying things around your home
  • Raised toilet seats and commodes
  • Specially adapted beds and chairs
  • Grab rails around your home to help your stability

AskSara provided by the Disabled Living Foundation is a quick and easy-to-use online ‘guided’ service that enables you to find out what equipment may benefit you, and where you can try it, and buy it locally.

Visit the AskSARA website for information on what help is available to assist you.

If you have a physical disability you may be eligible to support from us. This will vary depending on the type and level of disability and we will need to complete an assessment to understand your needs.

Visit the People First website for information about health and wellbeing.

Visit the NHS Choices website for information on Health A-Z.

Visit the People First website for information on requesting an assessment.

Sensory impairments

Hearing loss and deafness

Hearing loss and deafness are very common and can range in severity, from mild loss of hearing to total deafness. It may also only affect one ear or both, and make some tasks harder.

If you think that you may be suffering from hearing loss, there are important steps you can take:

  • make an appointment to see your GP. They will be able to tell whether you need further referral to have your hearing checked
  • talk to your family and friends to make them aware of your difficulties in hearing

Visit the People First website for information on hearing loss.

Visit the NHS Choices website for information on hearing loss.

Sight loss and blindness

Sight loss and visual impairment can be caused by a variety of eye conditions; different conditions cause different difficulties.

If you are having problems with your sight, there are important steps you can take:

  • Make an appointment with an optician as soon as possible.
  • Make an appointment to see your GP. They may be able to refer you to an eye clinic.

Visit the People First website for information on sight loss.

Dual-sensory loss

Dual-sensory loss is when a person has an impairment to both sight and hearing. This is sometimes called ‘deafblindness’. This may have happened at birth or different times in life.

These impairments may vary, with some people having more abilities in one sense than in others.

Visit the People First website for information on dual-sensory impairment.

Equipment for sensory impairment

If you have a sensory impairment, equipment and adaptations can help you live more independently and confidently in your own home. Support you getting out and about in your local community.

AskSara provided by the Disabled Living Foundation is a quick and easy-to-use online ‘guided’ service that enables you to find out what equipment may benefit you, and where you can try it, and buy it locally.

Visit the AskSARA website for information on what help is available to assist you.

Mental health

Looking after your mental health, mood and emotional wellbeing is every bit as important as taking care of your physical self. Keeping the mind active and having strategies to cope during difficult times in your life can help. You will feel more positive and make good decisions for the future.

One in four adults will experience mental health problems over the course of a year. For some people, they can be long-term or recurring problems.

It's important to take care of your mental health. Seek help and support as you would for a physical health condition. Whether that means going to see your GP, finding a support group, or trying some self-help strategies.

There are several services, that can provide support. In this first instance, it is best to speak to your GP if you have concerns about, for instance:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • feelings related to change
  • feelings related to bereavement
  • feelings related to personal and family problems
  • your mental health in general

Your GP may refer you to NHS psychological therapies, such as counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

If you or someone that you care for is having extreme mental health difficulties, you may need help quickly. If yours or their safety is at serious or immediate risk, then contact the ambulance or police service by dialling 999.

Additional support is available from the Single Point of Access (SPA) in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. They offer mental health triage for routine, urgent, and emergency referrals as well as information and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can contact them at 0800 0234 650.

Visit the People First website for information on mental health.

Visit the People First website for information on support in a crisis.

Visit the NHS Foundation Trust website for information on Single Point of Access for mental health services and support.

Dementia

The word 'dementia' covers a range of diseases or disorders affecting the brain. It comes in different forms, the commonest being Alzheimer's disease and vascular disease.

Symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, and changes in personality, mood, and behaviour.

Dementia usually affects older people and becomes more common with age. Although it can develop in younger people. It is important to remember that developing dementia is not a normal part of growing old. Only a minority of older people are affected.

It is also important to remember that whilst you may feel you are having problems with your memory or other age-related issues; this does not mean that you are getting dementia.

The Council is committed to supporting people with dementia and their carers. So that they can lead a happy, fulfilling, and independent a life as possible. The Council is now accredited as a Dementia Friendly Community by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Visit the People First website for information on dementia and memory loss.

Visit the People First website for information on requesting a social care assessment.

Autism

Autism, and the related Asperger’s syndrome, are part of a range of disorders. They can cause difficulties with communication and social skills.

This range of conditions is often referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They are a set of related disorders that begin in childhood and persist throughout adulthood.

Autism is not a learning disability, but around half of the autistic people may also have a learning disability.

ASD can cause a wide range of symptoms, grouped into three broad categories:

  • Problems and difficulties with social interaction. Such as a lack of understanding and awareness of other people's emotions and feelings.
  • impaired language and communication skills. Such as delayed language development and an inability to start conversations or take part in them properly.
  • unusual patterns of thought and physical behaviour. This includes making repetitive physical movements, such as hand tapping or twisting.

Visit the People First website for information on autism.

Visit the NHS website for information on autism spectrum disorder.