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

Susan Buell, Karen Bunning, Peter E Langdon, G Pounds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aim: 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 (ID). Method: Stage 1 comprised a structured survey of the properties of ‘easy read’ literature, followed by a multilevel 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 multi-level 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 ID undertaking a series of reading comprehension tasks informed by the results of Stage 1.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Subtitle of host publicationSpecial Issue: Abstracts of the Fourth International IASSIDD Europe Regional Congress 14–17 July, 2014, Vienna
Pages 357-371
Volume27, 4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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