Many organisations can benefit from making key policies and procedures available in Easy English format. What is Easy English and why is it relevant for your organisation? Read on to find out.
What is Easy English?
Easy English is an accessible format, that uses images and simplified language to convey information. Easy English allows information to be understood by a broad range of audiences.
Easy English documents are particularly helpful for individuals with intellectual disability, but all kinds of organisations can benefit from introducing Easy English resources. The Easy English format is ideal for anyone who has difficulty reading and understanding written English, which can include people for whom English is a second language and people with lower literacy levels.
Why should your organisation develop Easy English resources?
Many service standards require key policies and documents to be made available to clients in a number of formats, and also require that clients understand their rights and responsibilities under these policies.
Making policies available online and in person is a great first step, however policies are often wordy and complex, meaning they are not truly accessible to clients with lower literacy levels. According to a 2011-12 study, around 44% of Australians have low levels of reading literacy. Creating Easy English versions of key policies and documents can help ensure that important information is available to everyone.
Tips for implementing Easy English materials
The Easy English writing style follows some important principles. Here are some key pointers to get you started:
- Keep sentences short.
- Try to explain one idea per sentence.
- Use everyday language and basic grammar.
- Use subheadings, bullet points and white space to break up the text.
- Use a simple font and layout.
- Use a large text size.
- Choose images that are easily understood and add meaning to each point.
- Include a definitions section for any complex words used in the document.
Some clients will be able to read and understand Easy English resources independently. Other clients may need some assistance from staff to read and understand the information.
How we can help
A number of Easy English policies and templates are available in the SPP Reading Room. These include:
- Policy: Client Rights (Easy English)
- Policy: Incidents (Easy English)
- Policy: Incidents (Easy English) (NDIS)
- Policy: Complaints (Easy English)
- Policy: Privacy (Easy English)
- Template: Emergency and Disaster Management Plan (Easy English)
- Template: Child Rights (Child English)
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have suggestions or requests for Easy English resources you would like to see in the Reading Room.