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Free course

Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Free statement of participation on completion
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging Copyright free Icon
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Do you have experience of learning disabilities? Perhaps you have been assessed as having a learning disability yourself, or have a friend or relative who has this label? Maybe you work with people with learning disabilities. Or perhaps it’s something you know little about, and want to know more.

In this free course, Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging, you will hear from many different people about what it is like to have the label ‘learning disability’, and how it feels to support someone with a learning disability, as a family member, a friend, an advocate or a paid worker. These human stories will lead you into some of the complex moral, ethical and practical debates learning disability gives rise to.


This course is endorsed by Learning Disability England.

Learning Disability England logo

Enrolling on the course will give you the opportunity to earn an Open University digital badge. Badges are not accredited by The Open University but they're a great way to demonstrate your interest in the subject and commitment to your career, and to provide evidence of continuing professional development.

Once you are signed in, you can manage your digital badges online from My OpenLearn. In addition, you can download and print your OpenLearn statement of participation – which also displays your Open University badge.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our start-of-course survey 356. Once you complete the course we would also value your feedback and suggestions for future improvement, in our end-of-course survey 357. Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

This course is endorsed by the CPD Standards Office .  It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development but is not accredited learning. We are unable to provide formal learner verification services for participation in our open online courses, which are provided freely by The Open University as self-directed CPD.  

Anyone wishing to provide evidence of their enrolment on this course is able to do so by sharing their Activity Record on their OpenLearn Profile, which is available before completion of the course and earning of the Statement of Participation.

Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Earn this free Open University digital badge if you complete this course! The badge can be displayed, shared and downloaded as a marker of your achievement. The badge is awarded for completing the course and passing the quizzes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain the term 'learning disability'
  • describe the different ways learning disabilities have been viewed over time
  • reflect upon the impact that being labelled as having learning disabilities has on people and their families
  • explain why it can be difficult for people with learning disabilities and their families to feel like they belong in society
  • understand some of the barriers to people with learning disabilities and their families enjoying good lives and equal rights.

First Published: 12/04/2019

Updated: 26/03/2020

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