A groundbreaking report has identified that 7.4 percent of Jews nationally have some form of learning disability.
The Learning Disabilities report was commissioned and funded by the Langdon Foundation to mark its 25th anniversary, and undertaken by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR). For the first time, it shows statistics in relation to an arc of learning disabilities, from dyslexia and dyspraxia to Down’s Syndrome.
The report, written by JPR senior research fellow Dr Daniel Staetsky, says there are an estimated 23,000 Jews nationally with some form of learning disabilities, 7.4 percent of the Jewish population as a whole. Almost twice as many males as females have a learning disability, the report says.
Dr Staetsky notes: “Looking at this 7.4 percent as a group, seven percent of them have a “severe” learning disability (e.g. Down’s syndrome); nine percent have a “borderline” learning disability (e.g. unlikely to be in mainstream education, but some ambiguity about the medical cause); 31 percent have a “moderate” learning disability (i.e. likely to be in mainstream education, but with a statement of special educational needs that the school is obligated to act upon); and 54 percent have a “light” learning disability (e.g. in mainstream education with dyslexia or dyspraxia)”.
Langdon chairman Jonathan Joseph said: “We now have an invaluable backdrop against which to plan, along with other communal organisations, how Jewish people with learning disabilities can be supported in the decades to come.”
JPR executive director Dr Jonathan Boyd said: “Developing an accurate sense of the scale of any issue is the first step towards devising informed policy. Our report estimates the specific counts by age, geography, religiosity and severity of condition to enable Langdon and other charities working in this area to determine the extent to which their services are required.”