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Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities

The Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities (WCLD) is a multi-disciplinary academic section of the Psychological Medicine & Clinical Neurosciences within the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. First established in 1975, it brings together a range of expertise in clinical practice, research and teaching associated with the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Values and Mission

The work of the Centre recognises everybody’s rights to life, self-determination and equality of opportunity to be healthy, develop and fulfilled. It seeks to promote the welfare of people with learning disabilities and their families. Its aims are to:

  • increase understanding of the social situation and well-being of people with learning disabilities and their families across the lifespan and the ways personal and environmental differences affect their experience and quality of life;
  • increase understanding of how treatment, intervention and service support can contribute to the social and personal well-being of people with learning disabilities and their families; and
  • disseminate knowledge about effective service design and delivery in practice.

Inherent in these aims is a concern to identify the circumstances which lead to the development of skills and experience, good health, widening social relationships, diverse and constructive activity, choice and autonomy, and enhanced social reputation and self-identity.


The major activities undertaken in pursuit of the Centre’s mission are Research and Teaching. WCLD is a core constituent of the NISCHR Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Registered Research Group, a network of research colleagues spanning the higher education institutions in Wales.