'˜Gibberish' letters targeted in new West Sussex campaign, Make it Easy Read

Organisations that send people information they do not understand can expect to have it returned as part of a new campaign.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 12:40 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 2:33 am
Worthing Speakabout members help launch the Make It Easy Read campaign

Groups supporting people with learning disabilities want to remind businesses and organisations of their legal duty to ensure their services are accessible to all.

Worthing Speakabout worked with Impact Initiatives to develop stickers for Make It Easy Read and the campaign was launched at Methold House last week.

Harriet Wilson, team leader at Impact Initiatives, said: “The Equality Act places a duty on all providers of goods and services to make reasonable adjustments, such as making information available in different formats, to ensure everyone can access their services.

The Make It Easy Read leaflet explaining the campaign

“The Accessible Information Standard, introduced in 2015, places even stronger duties on health and social care providers to ensure that they give people information that they can understand.

“Yet still people with learning disabilities are missing health appointments or losing benefits because they do not understand the letter that they were sent.”

Members of Worthing Speakabout, a self-advocacy group run by and for people with learning disabilities, highlighted hospital appointment letters as being difficult to understand. They hope Make It Easy Read will ensure these letters clearly state what the appointment is for, where it is and when.

They say if any official letter is ‘gibberish’, they will throw it back in the post, using the Make It Easy Read stickers to highlight the campaign and the fact it has been returned because they do not understand.

Harriet added: “The stickers explain why information should be made easy read, offer tips on how to make information easy read and link to resources to help.”

The campaign has been funded by West Sussex County Council and developed in partnership with its learning disabilities commissioning team.

Worthing Speakabout is keen for anyone with a learning disability, or who supports people with learning disabilities, to get in touch and then use the stickers.

Members are also working with a national self-advocacy group, People First, on developing a local Easy Read hub to offer training and support to businesses and services on how to make information easy read.

Find Make it Easy Read on Facebook, email [email protected] or telephone 01903 730044 for more information.