Tizard Centre to research impact of Covid-19 on people with learning disabilities

Olivia Miller
Picture by Tizard Centre

There is a new team of university researchers working in the UK.

Researchers ask people questions to find out new information.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has meant a lot of changes for everybody.

The researchers (including Dr Jill Bradshaw and Dr Nick Gore of the Tizard Centre) want to ask adults with learning disabilities about these changes and coronavirus.

They will tell the people who can make things better for people with learning disabilities what they find out.

Some adults with learning disabilities will need someone else to answer the questions on their behalf.

The researchers want to speak to family carers or paid support staff of these adults.

Before the coronavirus pandemic people with learning disabilities were more likely to have worse health, worse support, and less money than people who don’t have learning disabilities.

The researchers are being led by Professor Richard Hastings and Professor Chris Hatton.

Richard works at the University of Warwick, Chris works at Manchester Metropolitan University.

What do they want to do?

The researchers want to talk to 1000 adults with a learning disability.

They want to talk to 500 family carers or paid support staff of  adults with a learning disability.

They want to talk to these people three times over the next year.

UK Research and Innovation have paid for them to do this research.

Why do they need to do this work?

Professor Richard Hastings said there are other studies about Covid-19 but these are hard for people with a learning disability to take part in.

Their voices are not being heard by the people who make decisions about how to make things better for people.

Covid-19 can make people with learning disabilities very poorly.

So it is really important to talk to people with learning disabilities about their experiences.

The researchers will find things out.

The researchers will tell other people what they find.

They will tell people who can make things better for people with learning disabilities.

If you want to find out more about this study, you could look at this website: covid19learningdisabilities.co.uk

Dr Jill Bradshaw and Dr Nick Gore said: ‘People with learning disabilities, their family carers and paid supporters have reported feeling invisible and forgotten during coronavirus. This research is an important opportunity to work with others across the UK to highlight the concerns of these groups to help inform policy and practice.’

In this video, Sarah Walker talks about what the coronavirus pandemic has been like for her and her older brother, Dan, who has profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

This press release has been written in Easy Read style. Easy Read is a way of making information more accessible to people with learning disabilities.