New research shows if Easy Read and Plain English writing makes words easier to understand. Words in Easy Read are shorter, more frequent and familiar, but analysis shows adaptations are sometimes making information more difficult to understand.
Bullet points in Plain English and Easy Read create long sentences with low coherence. The use of bullet points can make reading difficult for people with low literacy and communication and learning disability.
New research shows how Easy Read and Plain English methods change text. Sentences are shortened by splitting sentences, deleting information and using bullet points. But research suggests these changes might be making Easy Read information more difficult to understand.
The components of ‘accessible information’ reveal why ‘accessible information’ means different things to different people, why ‘accessible’ is an outcome – so no information is inherently accessible, and what we can do to maximise accessibility.
The social and political origins of accessible information in the last 40 years in the UK, with a narrowing of the target audiences for accessibility. There is a need to widen our audiences for accessible information, and clarify terms for a new, systematic approach.
The prospect of public sector funding falling still further is not good news. The public sector is a major provider of accessible information, but can provision survive the cuts? The way forward is not to reduce its scope – it’s to expand it, by embedding accessibility into everything we write.
A recent Easy Read report had 100 sentences and 43 pages. How do we make informed decisions about our audiences’ reading levels and information needs, and use this knowledge to adapt information effectively?
Is Easy Read writing style developed from any theory of reading or communication disability? Does Easy Read reflect the language and reading needs of people with learning disabilities? New research investigates.
Does Easy Read improve accessibility, where did it come from, and is it different to Plain English? New research analyses the language of Easy Read, its theoretical basis, and its likely impact on understanding for people with communication needs.
I’ll soon be sharing findings from my postgraduate Easy Read research investigating how Easy Read and Plain English methods change written text, and if adaptations help understanding. The results are startling – follow me on Twitter to hear more.