Accessible Writing And Information

Accessible information is just as important as accessible physical spaces. Learn how to prepare written material that can reach a wider audience!

What is easy read?

Easy read is one of the most effective ways of making information accessible. Easy read is:

  • Written information, supported by pictures

  • Writing that is clear and easy to read and understand

  • Developed to support people with intellectual disability better understand written information

Who is it for?

Easy read information is for people who have difficulty reading and understanding written information. Easy read information is for some people who:

  • Have a learning disability 

  • Have low literacy levels 

  • Use English as a second language  

  • Are elderly 

  • Are deaf

Examples of easy read

Before going further, quickly look at any of these examples of easy read material. Once you have done that, you will be more prepared to write accessible content of your own. 

Example 1: BBC Young Dance 2019 Application

Example 2: Passenger Transportation Questionnaire

Example 3: Smoke Free Advisory

 
 
 
 

Preparing accessible material

Setting up the page

Use wide margins

Using wide margins is important, because for easy read information there must be enough room on the left-hand side for comprehension aiding visuals to accompany the next. Leave at least 8 cm for your visuals.

Place images on the left

People generally find it easier to follow when images are to the left of the text, and this prevents confusion about which images match which text

Use a large, clear font

Using a large font of 14pt at minimum, or preferably 16pt or larger, helps with comprehension. Use fonts that are clear and plain, like Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Helvetica, or Myriad. Avoid fonts resembling handwriting.

Keep text short

Keeping lines of text on the shorter side makes reading less intimidating and information easier to remember. Try not to write much more than 20 words in each line.

Number your pages

This makes it easier for someone to keep track of what they have read

Add extra space between lines of text 

Using 1.5 line spacing instead of Word's default 1.0 makes your text easier to read

Writing

Write in short, clear sentences using basic language

Using easy words and steering clear of jargon aids comprehension. For a list of basic alternatives to difficult words and phrases, click here.

Give only one piece of info per sentence

For easy read audiences, include only one piece of info per sentence. For example, 'The store is open. The store sells Books.' instead of 'The store is open and it sells books'.

Spell out acronyms 

Spell out acronyms and explain their meaning. For example, 'NBA means National Basketball Association. It is a professional basketball league.'

Avoid contractions 

Some easy read audiences rely on, for example, the 'not' in 'do not' to understand what is meant. Using contractions can therefore make comprehension more difficult.

Use digits, not letters

For example, write 9 instead of nine. It is easier to understand.

Avoid symbols

Many symbols are unfamiliar to people. Try to use words instead of symbols like &, #, %, $, and £

Images

You can find images free and quickly

You can find pictures on the Clipart function of Word. Simply select 'Insert', then 'Online Pictures', then search away for what you want!

Be weary of using symbols or abstract photo

Symbols and abstract concepts can be difficult to understand and their meanings often take time to learn. Ensure that your photos can be understood by your reader.

Use large images

Images should be large and easy to make out

 

We want to hear from you! Get in touch via the following options:

Editor, Spencer van Vloten: spencer@bcdisability.com

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