I want to be the first to say that a lot of effort has obviously gone into making this consultation appear accessible, as well as the normal consultation, there’s also an Easy Read version. There are also some great toolkits, including a DVD — the Office for Disability Issues has done a great deal to encourage people to get involved, and long may that continue! We’re all for that sort of thing around here.
However, (isn’t there always a however) it’s not enough. I was surprised how little of the 80 page original paper made it into the 7 page translation. So much so that I really feel like I have missed something really crucial. Please, please tell me if I have!
Gone in 60 seconds!
Steph Gray has challenged me to shorten this consultation to a 60 second radio burst. I’m not going to pretend I’m not quaking in my size-5s at the thought, but watch this space.
The Easy Read problem
I can’t help but think that most Easy Read versions miss a fundamental point. They are usually longer than a normal consultation document. The jargon might be explained, but it’s still there!
These are major stumbling blocks — if you find it difficult to read or concentrate for too long, how easy is it to slog through 90 pages and remember 10 or more unfamiliar terms at the same time? Not easy at all.
The way easy read versions get made needs some serious re-examining. Involving literacy professionals would be a great start. Involving people with literacy problems would be a better one.