Easy read advice

Improving the accessibility of our resources

28 April 2015

With funding from Awards for All, part of the Big Lottery Fund, we commissioned a selection of our advice leaflets to be redesigned as easy read documents – versions that can be understood by those with low levels of literacy. Easy read is also a useful format for those who do not have English as a first language, including deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL).

Discussions with partner advice organisations revealed that our existing resources (especially those on our advice site) were unsuitable for some of their service users. Head of Household and Energy Services, Ian Preston, said it was this feedback that motivated the easy read work. “Our aim is to develop energy advice resources in formats that are more easily accessible to people with communication needs, broadly: people with learning disabilities, sensory impairments (visual and hearing), and whose first language is not English.”

There are 5 leaflets in our easy read collection.

Central heating controls - making the most of your heating system

Dealing with damp and mould in your home

Gas and electricity - how to read your meters

Tips on how to save energy and money at home

Using a night storage heater

All are free to download and distribute. We would welcome any feedback on the usability of these resources and whether there are topics we should prioritise for future leaflets.The leaflets were produced by easy-read Inspired Services.

Our previous work on accessibility has included translation of resources into Somali. Bristol, our home city, has a large Somali population, many of whom arrived recently as refugees and have a limited understanding of English. There are two films and 9 leaflets available in Somali.

Within the coming months we will translate selected leaflets into Polish and Arabic, and following this, develop audio formats and films that are visually adapted to be signed in BSL.

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