Raising awareness of learning disabilities and autism

Raising awareness about Learning Disability and Autism both in the local and wider community is one of Barnet Mencap’s key aims and objectives. 

 By raising awareness particularly amongst those in the community who come into regular contact with people with a Learning Disability and/or Autism, and those who offer or provide services that people with Learning Disability and/or Autism use, we increase the likelihood that our clients will have better quality of life and live as part of a more inclusive society. 

Good customer service with people aware of how to make reasonable adjustments like using simple language, taking someone to a quieter area, providing them with easy read information or just giving someone a little extra time to understand and process information,  can have an enormous positive  impact on the experience for BOTH people with learning disabilities  and service providers.  Even more important is, that it is the law to be inclusive (Equality Act 2010) and the duty is on the service providers and decision makers, to ensure they are adhering to that law.     

We aim to raise awareness in two key ways:

Offering FREE LearningDisability and/or Autism awareness training, to local organisations and service providers whose staff come into regular contact  with people in the community e.g. fire stations, hospitals, libraries, Job Centres, children’s centres, Hampstead Heath supervisors and ground staff, shopping centres, and leisure centres.

Our second way to raise awareness and get the voices of people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism heard is through our ‘Have Your Say’ group.  This is now the local ‘go to’ group of people with Learning Disability and/or Autism who meet with the Council and local and national organisations on a monthly basis at Barnet Mencap to discuss and give their feedback on plans, proposals and ideas.   The ‘Have Your Say’ group are also regularly asked to take part in national and local campaigns, fill in questionnaires, and attend parliamentary debates. 

People with Learning Disability and/or Autism are finally having their views considered, and taken into account, BEFORE key decisions on proposed plans that might affect them, are made.  They are helping decision makers make the right inclusive choices about their projects and plans.

Thank you to all who have so far participated in our raising awareness training or attended our Have Your Say meetings, here are some useful links help you engage more successfully with people with a Learning Disability and/or Autism about your  plans, ideas and campaigns or in your role as service provider or work colleague.

Check out Photosymbols' guide of 'How to create an ‘easy read’ accessible information document'

For more information on Makaton, head to

To refer somebody to Barnet Mencap, head to our Advice and Information page.

There is a wealth of information available from other organisations in Barnet such as Mind in Barnet, Inclusion Barnet, the Barnet Wellbeing Service, and the Barnet Learning Disability Service

If you're interested in volunteering with Barnet Mencap, head to our volunteering page 

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