Read time: 1 minute 40 seconds
Make your written information easier to understand for everyone.
Why it's important
- In 2019 we asked people from the community and staff (from all levels of government in Australia) to provide feedback on our Online Accessibility Policy.
- Through this feedback we know people prefer our easy read format compared to our traditional format. We also identified broader benefits for the community and how we can improve policy design.
What is easy read?
Easy read gives essential information on a topic without a lot of background information.
Written information is easier to understand by using simple language and short sentences.
Pictures are used to support the meaning of the words.
The South Australian Government wrote this guide.
When you see the word ‘we’, it means the South Australian Government.
Lots of people find easy read useful:
- The majority of people don't have time to read complex documents, reports or policies. People are time-poor and need to be able to grasp information quickly.
- Easy read helps people with learning disability understand information easily. People with learning disability need access to all types of information. Not just disability-specific information, but also about health, voting, employment and gaining skills through study.
- Easy read can also be helpful for people who are not fluent in English.
Easy read compared to plain English
Easy read is different from plain English.
Plain English example:
Thank you for your letter asking for permission to put up posters in the library. Before we can give you an answer we will need to see a copy of the posters to make sure they won’t offend anyone.
Easy read example:
Thank you for your letter about your poster. We need to see the poster before we put it up. This is because it must not offend anyone. Offend means upset people.
Producing easy read materials
- Consider commissioning easy read versions of your publications from an expert organisation. The Office for Digital Government can help you with this: email email@example.com.
- If you're thinking about developing your own, a great start is North Yorkshire County Council's downloadable guide to producing easy read.
- Easy read photo library (Photosymbols) - subscription service
- Tips for writing easy read documents (Scottish Accessible Information Forum)
- Our online accessibility policy easy read guide - easy read example
- Access to Work (GOV.UK) - easy read example
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Last update: 9 September 2019, first published.