Complex disabilities 

This page explains what the term complex disabilities means, how many people in the UK have complex disabilities and the importance of getting the right support. 

Sense is here for everyone with complex disabilities

We offer support all over the UK. Whether you need some expert advice, a place to socialise, or help with communicating or getting around, we offer something for everyone. Because no one should be left out of life.

To find out what kind of support we could give you or your loved one, speak to one of our friendly team.

What does complex disabilities mean? 

People with complex disabilities tend to have two or more of the following conditions: 

  • Deaf or hearing impairment 
  • Blind or vision impairment 
  • Learning disability 
  • Autism 

They may have other needs as well as two or more of the above. 

These needs may be with a person from birth, or following illness or injury, or they may develop with age. 

Having complex disabilities often means you experience unique barriers in daily life. It may mean you need high level support to communicate, develop new skills and live more independently. 

How many people in the UK have complex disabilities? 

  • More than 1.6 million people in the UK have complex disabilities.  
  • 1 in 10 disabled people have complex disabilities. 
  • By 2029, it is projected the number of people with complex disabilities in the UK will increase to 2 million. 

Sense partnered with the National Centre for Social Research to publish these figures in 2022. Find out more about our research into complex disabilities in the UK.

Getting the right support

If you, or someone in your family, has complex disabilities, getting the right support as soon as possible can make all the difference to how you live your life.  

Our years of experience and expertise at Sense mean we understand that no two people’s needs are the same. 

We know how important it is to find the right approach for each disabled person and their family. 

Find out more about the support we offer to children and adults with complex disabilities and their families. 

Support from Sense

If you’ve got any questions about getting support from Sense, our friendly team are here to help.

This content was last reviewed in April 2023. We’ll review it again in 2025.