Disability and learning

Do you have a disability or a medical condition which could influence your career choice? You can discuss your education and training options with a specialist adviser. You can get specialist help from a number of organisations. Some provide support for people with a particular disability or medical condition.

Where can I get information and advice?

Skills Development Scotland

My World of Work at Skills Development Scotland's website provides advice on learning support in further education and training, or on entry to careers. You can also call their careers advisers on 0800 917 8000.

Web: – lists local learning centres under Tools section.

Jobcentre Plus network

The Disability Employment Adviser (DEA), based in the Jobcentre or Jobcentre Plus office offers:

  • specialist advice to disabled people looking for a job
  • advice to employed disabled people worried about losing their job
  • advice to employees and employers on all work related matters.

The Access to Work programme helps disabled people and their employers overcome work related barriers resulting from disability. Access to Work advisers provide information and guidance on whether you are eligible for a grant.


Colleges and universities

  • Most colleges and universities in Scotland offer specialist guidance and learning support to students with disabilities.
  • You are encouraged to mention your disability on your application form. Advisers can discuss your support needs with you, so that support may be in place at the start of your course.
  • The Equality Act 2010 requires Education Authorities and Institutions to provide details of their facilities for disabled people.
  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) requires education providers to ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people and to provide auxiliary aids.

Lead Scotland (Linking Education and Disability)

Lead Scotland works with disabled people and their carers who are excluded from learning. They encourage people to learn for fun, for work or personal development. Services are free and confidential.

Lead offers educational guidance and information, a computer home loan scheme and volunteer support.


Capability Scotland 

This campaigning organisation is committed to ensuring disabled people have the same rights as others. It offers advice to disabled people, parents and carers about a range of disability issues, including specialist advice on cerebral palsy. It also provides a range of services including day and residential services, employment, education, learning and family support and activities. 

Update Scotland

This is Scotland’s National Disability Information Service. It provides general information and signposting for individuals.


The Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) works to protect, enforce and promote human rights and equality across the protected areas of age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. It was formed in 2007 as the result of a merger of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). 


Organisations which advise people with specific disabilities or medical conditions

There are a large number of such organisations. These are some of the larger ones.

Dyslexia Action

This educational charity assesses and teaches people with dyslexia, trains specialist teachers and carries out psychological assessments for adults and children. The Scottish centre is based in Glasgow with an outpost location in Perth.


Dyslexia Scotland

This charity runs awareness raising campaigns and offers:

  • advice, information and support to dyslexic people, their families, teachers, employers and other professionals interested in dyslexia
  • leaflets and a confidential telephone helpline 
  • information on qualified tutors and specialist teachers for adults and children.


ENABLE Scotland

This charity runs awareness raising campaigns relating to learning disabilities. It:

  • offers advice, information and support to people with learning disabilities and their families
  • supports them to participate, work and live in their local communities
  • produces factsheets.

Web: - lists local offices in the Services section.

Epilepsy Scotland

This organisation fundraises and campaigns to improve healthcare, provide better information and to end the stigma of epilepsy. It offers:

  • support and training for individuals and organisations
  • assistance to people with epilepsy living independently.


National Autistic Society

This organisation champions the rights and interests of people of all ages with autism. It: 

  • provides support and training courses to professionals, carers and families
  • aims to ensure autism sufferers receive appropriate education.


RNIB Scotland (Royal National Institute for the Blind)

The RNIB provides a wide range of support services to blind and partially sighted people. These cover employment, education, family support, social work, social care, accessible information and the built environment.


Action on Hearing Loss

Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) campaigns and acts to raise awareness of deafness in Scotland. It also offers a wide range of services to people who are deaf or have loss of hearing including information, help with communication and support in employment.


Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

SAMH supports people who experience mental health problems, homelessness, addictions and other forms of social exclusion. It provides help, information and support as well as campaigning on behalf of people with mental health problems