People with learning disability were understood and treated very differently in the past from the present. While attempts were always made to help them, this was against a background of pessimism about their prospects. Much progress has been made in the past half century in positive attitudes towards this group, with closures of the large institutions in which they were often housed and better integration into the community. Nonetheless, challenges remain, including a significantly shorter life expectancy compared with the general population. Dr Fionnuala Williams clarifies misconceptions and enlightens listeners on the definition, causes, and treatments relevant to this diverse population group, where communication is key.