UK Covid Research


During 2020 and 2021, researchers from 12 universities joined together to do a study on  how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of people with learning disabilities in the UK.


There have been lots of studies done on the pandemic.

But not many that people with learning disabilities can easily be involved in.


This research heard from people with learning disabilities about their own experiences.

And the research team was helped by an Advisory Group of people with learning disabilities.



The research findings have given some really important information about how people with learning disabilities have been affected by the pandemic.


The plan was always that the information that the researchers found out would then be shared with people who can help to make positive changes.


So the research team has worked with people with lived experience to create a Policy Brief for England about the findings.


The Policy Brief highlights the findings people with learning disabilities and family members in England have said are the most important for policy and practice.



People with learning disabilities have also worked with family members, self advocacy groups, paid supporters and partners to make a series of videos with their thoughts about the policy briefs and what they have told us.

You can watch the videos here:


Members from Speak Up explain what the research was about.

And talk about some of the things the research told us about employment and family carers.

Watch the video from Speak Up here 


Members of Pathways Associates talk about getting good information.

What the research found from people with learning disabilities themselves.

And how this compared to their experiences.

Watch the video from Pathways Associates here


NWTDT / Pathways also held a conference about the research findings last December.

It was called Leave No One Behind.

You can listen to voice recordings of the sessions here:

Leave No One Behind – research findings

Leave No One Behind – people who feel they have been forgotten

Leave No One Behind – people who are still ‘shielding’

Leave No One Behind – building hope

Leave No One Behind – how can services rebuild trust 


Self advocates from Connect in the Northlooked at mental and emotional wellbeing.

And talked about the impact on people’s mental health.

Watch the video from Connect in the North here 


Cohort 2 of the research looked at the experiences of people with higher level support needs.

Vicki and Christian share their thoughts about the impact on them and others with greater support needs.

Watch Vicki and Christian’s video here 

And Sarah Walker talks about the impact on her brother and their family.

Watch Sarah’s video here


Members of the Gr8 Support Movement talked together about their experiences as support staff.

And the impact on health and health services.

Watch support workers in the Gr8 Support Movement talk about the research here

The members also talked about the recommendations in the briefing.

Watch the people from the Gr8 Support Movement talk about the recommendations here


Learning Disability England is holding a free members webinar about the research findings and the policy brief.

It is called UK Covid Research: What have we learnt?

It is on Friday 29th April 2022 at 10am.

Find out more and members book here


Not yet a member?

Why not join today and get involved with other members working for change.

Find out more and join here


If you have any questions about the research, please contact the Learning Disability England staff team by email on info@LDEngland.org.uk.

Or phone 0300 111 0444.