Easy Read Guidelines

 These guidelines were created by Katie Grant of Raincharm; used here with permission.

Top tips for producing documents in Easy Read

Text

Easy Read formats are aimed at adults and should not be childish or cartoon-like.

  1. Write using clear text.
  2. Use a minimum of 16 point for body text.
  3. Keep sentences short – 20 words maximum.
  4. Break up text with bullet points.
  5. Use fact boxes to explain complex terms.
  6. List the boxed words at the back of the document.
  7. Do not use abstract terms.
  8. Use humour but only if appropriate.
  9. Do not use acronyms – spell words out in full.
  10. Do not use jargon.

Images

If used in the right way, pictures can be very powerful and should support the text by making content easier to understand.

  1. Use images to support words.
  2. Use the correct image in the correct place.
  3. Images should be easy to understand – keep as clear and simple as possible.
  4. Only show one idea at a time.
  5. Use pictures to illustrate the most important points – not all text will need an image next to it.
  6. Do not use abstract images.
  7. Think about combining photographs and images.
  8. Use images that represent your audience and that they can relate to.
  9. Drawings are better than photographs at showing a single concept or a key message.
  10. Keep the image on a clear background so it is easy to see.

Audio

Lots of people with a learning disability have other impairments too. Producing audio formats can really help them to have access to and understand information.

  1. Keep recordings short and to the point.
  2. Make sure the voices used are clear, easy to hear and speak at the right pace.
  3. Avoid any background noise which can make it difficult for the listener to concentrate.
  4. Find out what formats your audience prefer. Some people still use cassettes in preference to CDs or other multimedia formats.
  5. If you do produce cassettes, make sure the recording begins with a short introduction about what the information is about and when to turn the tape over.
  6. Let the listener know when it is time to turn over the page.
  7. Label all recordings carefully detailing where/who it is from and how long it lasts.
  8. Audio allows people to listen to long documents in stages and to replay parts over again.
  9. Audio allows people the option of listening to documents in private.
  10. Make sure the recorded version matches with the print so people can use the two together if they wish.