Easy Read Matters
Easy Read makes information easier to understand. It can help you meet the Accessible Information Standard.
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
- 4 in 10 adults cannot understand health information
- Poor understanding is linked to reduced life expectancy.
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
- 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.
- Rowlands G, Protheroe J et al, 2015. BJGP, 65(635): e379-e386. https://bjgp.org/content/65/635/e379
- Health literacy: how can we improve health information? - NIHR Evidence
Published March 2023.Review date: March 2025