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An accessible approach to explaining deaths of people with learning disabilities

An accessible approach to explaining deaths of people with learning disabilities

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Background

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs’ Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) annual report 2019/20 was not written with the public in mind. We were asked to produce an easy read summary to ensure that the information was accessible to people with learning disabilities.

Case study - Editorial - Easy Read

Action

NHS Midlands and Lancashire’s Media, Editorial and Publications Team suggested how the easy read could be structured and asked for clarity about which details needed to be kept in the summary. We researched best practice and guidance to know the best way to write and format easy reads. Our approach is to simplify all detailed information and complex language into a series of short sentences. We use illustrations approved by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities alongside the text.

We worked with our in-house design team to identify the images for artwork, the appropriate alt text and ensured the document met Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The Editorial Specialist reviewed the designed document to see the project from start to finish, and lead on liaison for printing and distribution coordination.

Impact

We summarised a 12,000-word report into a 1,000-word easy read. The lead was very impressed with how much we had managed to edit whilst keeping the detail that was needed. A group of learning disability representatives gave feedback on the designed draft. We worked together to resolve as many of their suggestions as possible. The CCGs were very proud of the report which helps people with learning disabilities to understand what is happening locally. We are now working on an easy read of their 2020/21 report.

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