“It is a democratic right . . . that all citizens have access to information about what is going on in society. In order for an individual to exercise his/her democratic rights and to control his/her own life, this person must be well informed and capable of making make choices.”
Guidelines for Easy-to-read Materials, 2016, IFLA
Don’t Presume, Ask!
A key element in removing barriers to representation and participation is the provision of information in accessible formats. Finding out each person’s preferred way to access information should be one of the first things you do. It is very important to not to make presumptions, e.g. presuming that all people with intellectual disability require easy English.
Get in touch with the consumer representative and ask if they require information in accessible formats. Some people will not be aware of the existence of different accessible formats and you will need to explain the different formats available and why people use them.
Some common formats:
- Easy English information – for people who have difficulty understanding written information.
- Audio versions of easy English information – for people who cannot read and require an easy English version of the information.
- DVD versions of easy English – a video of a person reading through the easy English information.
- Plain English information – is different to Easy Read. Plain English is a way of writing that is simple and clear. Many people prefer plain English information.
- Audio versions of the original documents – for people who have difficulties reading e.g. people with Aphasia.
Documents you may need to provide in accessible formats:
- Powerpoint Presentations
Free resources online:
Chapter 4. Identify and Remove Barriers
Menu: Consumer Participation Kit