Clear and Easy handbook

Clear and Easy is a handbook for making written information easy to read and understand for people with a learning disability.

The handbook is for anyone who is, or should be, producing accessible information for people with a learning disability.

How do you order Clear and Easy?

In Wales:

If you are an organisation in Wales producing information for people with a learning disability and their families or carers, you can receive a free copy of Clear and Easy. There is an £8.50 charge for postage and packing. To get your free Clear and Easy handbook and DVD email cheryl.white@ldw.org.uk or phone 029 2068 1160.

Rest of UK:

Prices for organisations in the UK range between £25 and £45 plus VAT including postage and packing. See the flyer and order form here. For more information contact: harriett.johnson@ldw.org.uk

Who is Clear and Easy for?

Clear and Easy will support different sized organisations in their understanding of accessible information, why it is important for people with a learning disability to have access to information they can understand, and how to produce Easy Read materials.

Clear and Easy will benefit you if you are from a local People First group, a large disabled people's organisation, a social services department, the public sector, or a private service provider, such as a bank.

The Clear and Easy handbook comes with a DVD that includes:

  • Clear and Easy - new guidelines for making information easy to read and understand (printed in six booklets and included on DVD)
  • Check It! - an easy read toolkit that enables people with a learning disability to check the quality of accessible information (included on DVD)
  • Guidelines for making information in Welsh easy to read and understand (included on DVD)
  • Two short films about accessible information (included on DVD)

Improving the quality of accessible information

Improving the access of people with a learning disability to good quality accessible information is one of Learning Disability Wales' priorities.

We run an accessible information service, producing Easy Read commissions for Welsh Government, local authorities and disabled people's organisations, advise on accessibility, and deliver training in the production of Easy Read materials.

Clear and Easy (or in Welsh, Hawdd a Chlir) was written by Anne Collis, from Barod, an accessible information specialist with a strong background in social research and social policy.

Designed as a set of easy to follow booklets, Clear and Easy guides you through the different stages of producing Easy Read information: Thinking, Planning, Doing and Checking.

A fifth booklet, Changing, gives advice on the changes you can make so accessible information becomes a priority within your organisation; whilst a sixth booklet, Find out more, provides you with an extensive reference list of organisations and information that can help you become an accessible information organisation.

Two short films on the accompanying DVD explain why accessible information is important, and explore some of the barriers that prevent people with a learning disability from receiving information in a format they understand.

The handbook also introduces 'everyday English' and offers simple readability tests.

Not just Easy Read

Clear and Easy focuses on written information in an Easy Read format, but throughout the guide references are made to how information can be made available in different formats.

If a person has very individual needs, Clear and Easy advises seeking the assistance of a Speech and Language Therapist to help you prepare information for that person.

The first booklet, Thinking, gives some general tips on what to think about when producing your information:

  • find out from others how the person communicates best
  • think about pictures and symbols, and whether you could have a general set of photos and pictures that you can use to back up what you are telling the person
  • think about giving information in two or three different ways, rather than relying on one way
  • make sure the person has information to take away with them so they can check (or ask someone else to check) that they have understood the information
  • if someone has a carer or support worker, make sure that person has understood the information and has the support they need to explain the information to the person they support.

Accessible information project

The Clear and Easy handbook is one of the products of the Welsh Government-funded project on accessible information.

Funded by the Welsh Government, the aim of the accessible information project was to improve the quality of accessible information that people with a learning disability and their families receive.

The project took place between 2011 and 2013 and was managed by Learning Disability Wales, in partnership with All Wales People First, the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers and Mencap Cymru.