Easy English is a style of writing and formatting that makes information more accessible to readers. While primarily designed to support people with an intellectual disability, Easy English materials can also be helpful for people with low literacy and people who use English as a second language.
Why is Easy English important?
Sharing accessible information enables people to connect to businesses, organisations and government departments and to make choices about things that are important in their life.
Literacy and understanding information impacts everybody every day – from reading signs to signing service contracts, knowledge in many ways is power.
- close to 44% of the community live with low literacy and find it challenging to make sense of everyday information
- over 660,000 people have an intellectual disability, and
- one fifth of the community speak a language other than English at home
Easy English materials can support more people to understand information and make informed choices and decisions independently.
What does Easy English look like?
Easy English documents have a number of content and style features that make information easier for readers to access.
Easy English uses:
- Simple everyday words
- Minimal punctuation
- Short sentences, with one idea or concept per sentence
- A wide left margin and plenty of white space
- Images or icons that add meaning, placed to the left of sentences
- Large easy to read font, at least 14pt
Once translated, Easy English resources can be read by people independently or with the support of someone they know.
Learn more about Easy English
Interested in learning more about Easy English? Check out the resources below or get in touch to discuss your Easy English translation needs.
- Using Plain Language – Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania (PDF)
- Clear Written Communications The Easy English Style Guide – Scope Australia (PDF)
- Basic guidelines for people who commission Easy Read information – Department of Health UK (PDF)
- Am I making myself clear? Mencap’s guidelines for accessible writing (PDF)
About the author
Over close to 10 years, I’ve worked within non-profit and community organisations to drive communications and marketing campaigns and initiatives. Making sure people have access to valuable, accessible and inclusive information is a true passion of mine; and a passion I’d love to share with your organisation.
Learn more about Pen For Purpose, the copywriting, editing and content marketing services available to you, or simply get in touch to talk about your communications needs.