Accessibility, including Easy Read

Easy Read illustration

Easy Read ensures public information is accessible to everyone, including disabled people. While there are commercial reasons why you’d want to reach all your potential clients, there are also legal reasons; e.g. if you fail to provide accessible information, disabled people can sue!

You can meet your legal duty in many ways – such as in Braille, large print and audio CD; and in straightforward and easy to understand language for people with learning disabilities or low literacy.

CDS can help your organisation meet all its accessibility duties:

  • CDS Digital will ensure your website meets the most up-to-date accessibility standards – link to appropriate page.
  • CDS Creative will ensure your information – whether computer-based or printed – is accessible to everyone.

CDS has developed two Easy-Read styles. A style for people with learning disabilities, presenting key points in simple language supported by colourful images for people to read alone or with a helper; and a low-literacy style presenting information in clear, easy-to-understand words supported by bespoke illustrations. And you can transform both styles into accessible PDFs for website use.

CDS can help you create large print versions of your information; arrange translation to any language, including Braille: and present your information on audio disc.

Central London Community Healthcare

The objective

Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH) wanted to find out what local people thought could make access to their services fairer. They had developed an e-questionnaire for most of their users, but were aware a sizeable number of people would not understand the questionnaire.

CLCH came to CDS because they had seen examples of CDS’ easy read products and thought the style would work well for them.

How the objective was achieved

CDS easy read editors broke down the original questionnaire, extracting the most important elements of each question and translating them into simple and easy-to-understand language and format.

Results

Our graphic designers supplied original artwork to support the easy read text.

Department for Communities and Local Government

The objective

The Department for Communities and Local Government wanted an Easy-Read version of the ‘Fire Safety in the Home’ booklet to support a national fire safety campaign.

Given that fire safety is such an important issue and affects everyone, the booklet had to be accessible to a wide audience including vulnerable people with learning difficulties.

How the objective was achieved

DCLG provided the base text for the Easy-Read version. Our team of Easy-Read specialists consisting of editors, illustrators, developers and designers then commenced work. The team first of all evaluated the base material and considered the requirements and needs of the target audience. They also discussed ways in which key messages could be simplified to convey important fire safety information.

After the analysis, our team of specialist Easy-Read editors rewrote the text using simple clear language to convey key messages and important instructions; an approach based on research and development into effective use of language, and an understanding of the target audience. This allowed people to read and understand each key message before moving onto the next page, especially helpful for people with short attention spans.

Once the text had been approved, our expert designers and illustrators worked with the editor to identify illustrations to represent each of these key messages. The CDS Easy-Read style of bespoke illustrations allowed us to convey key messages in a friendly and accessible illustration. Using illustrations to represent different situations e.g. replacing a battery in a fire alarm, allows the reader, who may have limited reading skills, to understand the message in the illustration. Clear and accessible design principles were then used to lay out each page.

Results

“Fire Safety in the Home” has been very well received by the target audience, and is now a model for the production of targeted Easy-Read leaflets. CDS has gone on to provide Easy-Read to a range of clients, including the Office for Disability Issues, for whom CDS has produced Easy-Read publications over the past five years.

Greater Manchester Police

The objective

Greater Manchester Police wanted an Easy-Read version of their Integrated Equality Scheme to allow them to communicate what they are doing about equality and diversity. The document had to accessible to a wide and diverse audience including people with learning difficulties, people with whom English is not the first language and people with low literacy skills.

Greater Manchester Police wanted to work with a company that had the experience and expertise in the production of Easy-Read publications and importantly understood the requirements of the audience. CDS has gained experience and knowledge of the audience by partnering with national government organisations such as Office for Disability Issues, as well as running regular user group consultation sessions. They also wanted to work with a company that could work to a tight deadline.

The solution

The final publication has proved very successful and has allowed Greater Manchester Police to communicate important information on their equality and diversity plans and engage with vulnerable people. The Easy-Read document also allows the force to communicate their commitment and desire to work with people from diverse backgrounds.

Amy Lewis, Policy and Performance Manager, said “we are very pleased with the Easy-Read document both in terms of content and presentation. It is of excellent quality.”

Contact us to find out more