What is easy-to-read information and why is it important?

My name is Soufiane, I live in Belgium.

I am a self-advocate and work as part of the Empower Us Action Team.  

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I also work at Inclusion Europe as the easy-to-read editor. I started working here in 2008.

I edit the newsletter Europe for Us using the European easy-to-read standard, which I helped create. 

I have also written this article using Easy-to-read. You can download it here. 

Easy-to-read is information that is written in a clear and easy to understand way.  

Many people with an intellectual disability as well as other groups of people find it useful.

Having easy to understand information is very important for people with intellectual disabilities so that we can:

  • Learn new things.

  • Take part in community life.

  • Know our rights and stand up for ourselves.

  • Make our own choices.

People with intellectual disabilities have the right to get information that is easy to read and understand.

With my colleagues, I have worked on many different easy-to-read documents. For example:

  • presentations;

  • articles about inclusion in Europe;

  • booklets for meetings.

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I have also travelled to a few places training people about how to write in easy-to-read. I have been to:

  • Portugal,

  • Spain,

  • Croatia,

  • Greece,

  • Russia.

When I write an article in easy-to-read I have to understand what the article is talking about. I also check the layout and the format of the text.

Each time I check a text, I follow a checklist that I created for myself.

This checklist reminds me of all the things I need that are important for an easy-to-read document.

For example, the text must be at least in Arial 14 as a font. If the text is long, it needs page numbers. I use clear and short words and sometimes pictures too to help explain what is written

For me, it is important to be able to read information that is written in a way that it is easy to understand. I feel part of the community because I get the same information as everybody else.

There have been many times when easy-to-read was useful to me. For example:

  • When I was looking up train timetables;

  • When I took part in a conference at the European Commission and they gave us an easy-to-read programme.

Part of my job is to help create our newsletter, Europe for Us.

Europe for Us talks about the news that is interesting for self-advocates. For example, it talks about meetings of self-advocates and about the work of Inclusion Europe. Europe for Us is written in 6 languages.

I enjoy writing easy-to-read articles because I can pick out what people with intellectual disabilities want to read about.

It is a fun challenge because I learn new things every time. I get to learn about different organisations in the world that support people with intellectual disabilities.

It is challenging to change texts into easy-to-read because organisations’ documents are usually way too long and not easy-to-read.

But I love my job!

If you are interested in finding out more about how to make information easy to understand for self-advocates you can get in touch with empowerus@inclusion-international.org