Easy Read Matters

Easy Read makes information easier to understand. It can help you meet the Accessible Information Standard[1].

It is also useful for:

  • People with English as a second language
  • Those who are stressed or time poor
  • People with communication difficulties


Why Easy Read is important

  • 1.5 million people in the UK have learning disabilities[2]
  • 4 in 10 adults cannot understand health information[3]
  • Poor understanding is linked to reduced life expectancy[4].


Making Easy Read resources


  • Use a logical order – introduction, content, contact details
  • Easy Read normally follows the layout shown to the left
  • Keep images to the left of the page and text to the right
  • Use white backgrounds
  • Use a plain ‘Sans Serif’ font in 14pt or more



  • Plain language – check for jargon using a readability tool
  • Short simple sentences – 15 words maximum
  • Use active voice
  • Avoid abbreviations



  • Use high-resolution images with each sentence
  • Capture the main idea of the sentence
  • Be representative of users
  • Avoid busy backgrounds


Top tips

  • Always test with users to ensure the words and images used convey the message.
  • Use nouns instead of pronouns: “The doctor will phone your brother” not “They will phone him”.
  • Easy Read should still include enough detail to enable informed decision making.



  1. https://www.england.nhs.uk/about/equality/equality-hub/patient-equalities-programme/equality-frameworks-and-information-standards/accessibleinfo/
  2. https://abilitynet.org.uk/factsheets/what-easy-read
  3. Rowlands G, Protheroe J et al, 2015. BJGP, 65(635): e379-e386. https://bjgp.org/content/65/635/e379
  4. Health literacy: how can we improve health information? - NIHR Evidence



Published March 2023.Review date: March 2025

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Easy Read Matters


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