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The Easy Read Project: an investigation into the accessibility value of health-based ‘easy read’ literature

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Abstract

Aims: Access to written information is vital to support wellbeing and participation in decision making about health. This study aims to investigate what makes ‘easy read’ material easier to read than mainstream material for people with intellectual disabilities. Methods: Stage 1 comprised a structured survey of the properties of ‘easy read’ literature, followed by a multi-level linguistic analysis (quantitative and qualitative) of text samples from ‘easy read’ material and matching mainstream versions from the UK Department of Health website. Data were analysed and differences between ‘easy read’ and mainstream documents were compared. Results: Significant differences between ‘easy read’ and mainstream texts on quantitative multilevel linguistic measures largely support the hypothesis that ‘easy read’ material is less linguistically complex than its mainstream comparator. Qualitative discourse analysis reveals ‘easy read’ material to be more restricted, more directive and less inclusive than similar information in mainstream format. Conclusion: Initial findings from linguistic analyses demonstrate the need to readdress some of the commonly held principles for the production and use of ‘easy read’ material. Stage 2 of the study involves people with intellectual disabilities undertaking a series of reading comprehension tasks informed by the results of Stage 1.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIASSID Europe Congress, Vienna
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Association for the Scientific Study of intellectual Disabilities Annual Conference -
Duration: 1 Jan 2004 → …

Conference

ConferenceInternational Association for the Scientific Study of intellectual Disabilities Annual Conference
Period1/01/04 → …

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ID: 44681367