Welcome to the

Learning Disabilities

The Observatory has been set up to provide better information about the health and health care of people with learning disabilities and people with autism in Scotland. The Observatory will generate and translate information into knowledge, that is designed to inform actions, practice and policy to benefit people with learning disabilities and people with autism.

More about us

Where is the best health?

People with learning disabilities with good/very good health

All health information


Population characteristics

Number of people


with learning disabilities


with autism


all people

All population information


Percentage of people with very good health


with learning disabilities


with autism


all people

All health information

Housing and accomodation

People with learning disabilities in private households


Rented from council or housing association


Private ownership


Rented privately or living rent free

All housing and accommodation information

Employment and Education

People aged 16 and over with learning disabilities


Long term sick or disabled


in paid employment







All employment and education information

Other topics

Country of birth

People born within the UK


with learning disabilities


with autism


all people

Language spoken at home

People speaking Gaelic or Scots


with learning disabilities


with autism


all people


People who are white Scottish


with learning disabilities


with autism


all people

Scotland's Census 2011

Once every 10 years the Scottish Government holds a national census. The last one was on the 27th of March 2011. Every citizen in Scotland provided information on the census form. This website presents findings from Scotland's Census 2011. If you have an enquiry related to this census you can contact National Records of Scotland by following this link. 

Project examples

Life expectancy

Find out about our work to understand the factors influencing the mortality of people with learning disabilities.

Read more about this project

Physical health

There is a need to better understand the physical health of people with learning disabilities. This project examines the number of co-existing conditions and the types of conditions people with learning disabilities experience.

Physical health


SLDO Conference - Integrating evidence, policy and practice


The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory held their second national conference on Tuesday 16th May in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. The event showcased current evidence on the health and healthcare of people with learning disabilities, exploring the implications for policy makers and practitioners.

The programme for the event can be viewed below.



Launch of SPIRE (Scottish Primary Information Resource)


NHSScotland is improving the way it uses information from GP patient records. From May 2017, a new service called SPIRE will be introduced across Scotland, developed to help GPs, the NHS in Scotland and researchers learn from information held at GP practices.

A new campaign is underway to inform patients across Scotland of the benefits of the service, and the confidential and secure way in which GP patient records will be used to help plan and improve health care services.

It is important all patients are aware of SPIRE, and their choices.

To find out more visit spire.scot or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 to find out more.

Research invitation

Invitation to take part in research: Transition and health in young adults with learning disabilities

I am conducting a study on how transition from school affects health and wellbeing into adulthood in young adults with learning disabilities.

I am looking to interview young adults with learning disabilities aged 25-35 years, and their families, about the experience of leaving school, and what they have been doing since leaving school.

The interview will last around one hour and will take place at home. 

If you would like to hear more information about the study, or to arrange an interview, please contact me via email: g.young-southward.1@research.gla.ac.uk or through the Scottish Learning Disabilities website: https://www.sldo.ac.uk/contact/

With thanks,

Genevieve Young-Southward (PhD candidate) 

Accessible information

Hospital admissions

In this video Kirsty Dunn talks about her project looking at why people with learning disabilities go to hospital.

Going in to hospital

Reports & Publications


June 2016 edition

Our newsletter is published every 6 months. Send us your contact details if you would like to receive a copy in the post.

Read it here!

Reports & Publications

We publish reports relevant to learning disabilities and autism policy and practice.


View our full list of publications.

Reports & Publications


Better information, better health

On the 1st of December 2015 the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory hosted its first national conference. Speakers from across the UK talked about the role of information and data in improving the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and people with autism.

Watch Clare Mills visually record the meeting.


Tell us what you think!

We would love to hear your comments about our new website so that we can make it better. Email us at sldo-info@glasgow.ac.uk