Access to Learning Disability Healthcare

This site is being developed by Keele University


A warm welcome to the learning disability access to health website, designed and developed to capture information, resources and tools to support people with learning disabilities who have additional health needs. We remain indebted to people with a learning disability, parents and families, local clinicians, advocates and students who have shared their experiences in helping us to develop the contents of this website.

The School of Nursing & Midwifery, Keele University, are committed to educating learning disability nurses to the highest possible quality, in order to support people with a learning disability, particularly around health and wellbeing. The pages of this website include particular themes around healthcare, and showcase local, national and international good practice around health access for this population.

If we get health care right for people with a learning disability, chances are we get it right for everyone, and although much of this website will be helpful to people with a learning disability specifically, it could also help to support other groups too (such as people with dementia; people for whom English is not their first language).

As Carl ( a young man with a learning disability) reminds us ‘Getting good healthcare is important for everyone, whether you have a learning disability or not…’.

Sue Read
Professor of Learning Disability Nursing,
School of Nursing & Midwifery,
Keele University

Loss, Change & Bereavement

Sensitive support is crucial to anyone who has experienced loss (e.g. transition) and bereavement (death of a person). This section contains information, resources and tools about loss and bereavement support specifically for people with a learning disability.

Loss, Change & Bereavement »

Making a Difference Toolkit

The Health Education West Midlands, Mental Health Institute Learning, Education and Training Council funded the development of a Toolkit to support health access for people with a learning disability, and this section links the reader directly to the Toolkit resources.

Toolkit »

Learning Disability Nursing - Career in

The School of Nursing & Midwifery provides undergraduate education for adult nursing, mental health nursing, children’s nursing, learning disability nursing and midwifery. To find out more about a career in learning disability nursing, please visit our course web page:

Learning Disability Nursing »


There are many resources and web links around support for people with a learning disability, and this section provides those that may be particularly useful from a health access perspective.

Resources »

End of Life Care

Everyone will come to a dying phase of their life at some point. This section provides information and resources to support people with a learning disability at this difficult and often challenging time. Resources from a personal, professional and family perspective are highlighted.

End of Life Care »

Working with People

This section contains links to work that we have developed when working with people with a learning disability, families and other professionals across and outside of the University. Whether it be an animated film, interview material, or an animated poster, it demonstrates the School’s commitment to engaging with a range of people to ensure our education, curriculum content and research remains ‘fit for purpose’.

Working with People »

PicTTalk Logo

A new communication resource is an app called picTTalk, which was developed over five years by professionals, children and adults with a learning disability. It includes a number of pictograms, developed to facilitate stories and conversations, helping people to have a voice in what’s happening in their lives.

The picTTalk app was developed for use on tablets with 10 inch screens, and can be freely downloaded on both iPad and android devices. Although the app will work on devices with smaller screens, image display may not be optimal. The communication app is available to down load from:
Google Play Store
Apple App Store

Professionals can use picTTalk to help people to ask questions, to indicate choices, share information about health issues and to explore sensitive topics such as loss and bereavement.