Learning Disabilities

The Stop Look Care booklet (May 2020) is an information guide for anyone providing direct support to people with learning disability and/or autism. It has been designed to support carers and care workers  who live and work in the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) area. Although this resource has emphasis on learning disability and autism, a great deal of the information will be of interest to providers working across all care groups.

SHIP TCP Workforce Training Resources Directory v3 (October 2019) – A directory of training resources available across the 4 SHIP areas (Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Portsmouth). [Note: some organisations provide training solely for their own staff, and some local authorities/CCG’s currently provide training only to their commissioned services.]

Key learning resources

The Learning Disabilities Awareness course from Skills for Health helps health and care practitioners understand the issues surrounding learning disabilities. It is designed to meet the requirements of the ‘Awareness of Mental Health, Dementia & Learning Disabilities’ standard within the Care Certificate.

Disability Matters is a  free and flexible learning resource on the eLearning for Health platform to help those who work, volunteer or engage with disabled children and young people (from 0 to 25 years) and their families to support them as effectively as they can. It encompasses both physical and intellectual disabilities and is available as both online learning for individuals and face-to-face training for groups

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) make available a range of free e-learning resources for the social care, health and housing sectors including safeguarding and mental capacity.  There is a wide range of material concerning learning disabilities and mental health issues in relation to social care.

Change, a human rights organisation led by Disabled People, run a range of training courses to support organisations and businesses to become more accessible and inclusive for people with learning disabilities.

Transforming learning disability services is a  massive open online course (MOOC) from NHS Improving Quality created for anyone in Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs) or delivering care and support to people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities) can  provide workplace training programmes on Understanding Learning Disabilities, Autism Awareness and Effective Communication.

Other useful resources

People with a learning disability can be more likely to experience poor mental health. Skills for Care have developed free resources to help healthcare staff talk to people with a learning disability about their everyday mental health, and enable them to get the support they need.

The Learning disabilities: Making a difference toolkit brings together a range of resources to promote understanding about what it’s like to live with a learning disability care wherever it is delivered, allowing healthcare professionals to adjust the care they deliver and helping people with a learning disability accesses the services they need.

The government has published a series of guidance notes outlining the Reasonable Adjustments which should be made to health services and adjustments to help people with learning disabilities to access services.

Communication is key – see Mencap’s resources for healthcare professionals, including easy read resources and support to communicate with people with a learning disability.


SHIP autism awareness e-learning module.  Produced in partnership by the SHIP autism workforce development and training group; (Southampton; Hampshire; Isle of Wight and Portsmouth’s Health and Social Care Authorities and Hampshire Autistic Society.)

The MindEd Learning Disability folder has elearning programmes on autism and related disorders.

Understanding Autism is a free short online course on the FutureLearn platform which  includes diagnosis, the autistic spectrum and life with autism. Check for the next start date.

To give professionals a better understanding of autism SCIE have produced a video “Working with people with autism: the professionals.

Understanding Autism is a series of (costed and CPD accredited) online modules from the National Autistic Society, uniquely developed and delivered by people on the autism spectrum.


Other useful pages: Dementia care, Carers and Families, Mental Health, Safeguarding,

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 15 January, 2021