The Easy-to-Read network

easy-to-read, equality-act
Rob Waller

I spent today at a workshop organised by the Network. [2022 note: this organisation seems to have disappeared or merged, but Inclusion Europe covers the same ground]. There was quite a range of interpretations of what easy-to-read documents are like - all use language that has been simplified to some degree, but they don't all make the heavy use of illustrations that I had expected.

In the UK there's a system known as Easy Read, promoted by Mencap, and 'translation' services are offered by a number of agencies. It is characterised by very simple content, with each concept supported by a picture.

But many of the Easy-to-Read documents I've seen today are quite different - with more text and fewer illustrations, they seem to be addressing a different audience. There does seem to be a scale of 'easiness', whatever that means - three levels were suggested to me when I asked - although it is not very tightly defined. I think we need better definitions of exactly what Easy-to-Read is, and who it is for, at each level. For one thing, the Equality Act puts pressure on public sector organisations to communicate to all audiences, and they need to manage the process of selecting candidate documents, and monitoring compliance.

Contact us