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Journal article

Symbols can improve the reading comprehension of adults with learning disabilities

Authors:
JONES F.W., LONG K., FINLAY W.M.L.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(7), July 2007, pp.545-550.
Publisher:
Wiley

This study aimed to test the hypothesis that adding symbols to written text can improve its comprehensibility for adults with learning disabilities. Nineteen adults with mild or borderline learning disabilities attempted to read four short passages of text, two of which had Widgit Rebus symbols added to them. Following each passage, they were asked questions to test their comprehension. A counterbalanced design was employed. Participants’ comprehension scores were significantly higher for the symbolized passages than the non-symbolized ones. It is concluded that adding symbols to written text can make comprehension easier for some adults with mild and borderline learning disabilities.

Journal article

A commentary on "First-hand experience of accessible information"

Author:
BUELL Susan
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 20(2), 2015, pp.88-91.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on Clare Mander's paper on people with learning disabilities’ first-hand experience of accessible information. Design/methodology/approach: The commentary reflects on some of the findings presented by Mander and builds on these, with particular emphasis on what it means to understand information. Findings: Everything from initial product design to building capacity and constructing knowledge requires expertise and attention to detail. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Accessible information reconceived

Author:
OLDREIVE Warren
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, 14(5), September/October 2014, pp.22-24.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

The authors discuss the provision of accessible information to people with learning disabilities.They illustrate the importance of considering issues other than format, and argue that it should be a holistic person-centred process if it is to be truly effective. This process should begin by understanding what the person needs to understand and how much detail is required. There is also a need to agree and set information targets which outline what a person should be able to understand at a given point. As well as being written in an accessible way, the information should also be available when required. Involving people in developing material will also increase the chances of success. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Oxleas “can you understand it?” group

Author:
CAN YOU UNDERSTAND IT GROUP
Journal article citation:
Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 8(4), 2014, pp.268-270.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: This paper describes the development and work of the “Can you understand it?” group, which supports services in developing accessible information for people with intellectual disabilities. Design/methodology/approach: Members describe their experiences of working with the “Can you understand it?” group. Findings: Group members found the group to be a positive experience. They report that they have supported a range of services in making information easier for people with intellectual disabilities to understand. Originality/value: This paper reinforces the importance of making information accessible to people with intellectual disabilities and that people with intellectual disabilities themselves should be involved in the process to assure quality. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Accessible information: think 'CAAPITT'

Authors:
OLDREIVE Warren, WAIGHT Mary
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, 13(5), September/October 2013, pp.22-25.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

This article argues that when providing accessible information to people with learning disabilities, there are a number of important factors to consider if it is to be successful. The CAAPITT principles summarise these key consideration of: control, availability, accessibility, personalisation, inclusion, targeted and timely. The article draws on a number of studies on information accessibility. (Original abstract)

Journal article

Commentary on “Enabling access to information by people with learning disabilities”

Author:
WALMSLEY Jan
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 18(1), 2013, pp.16-19.
Publisher:
Emerald

The author offers a commentary on Oldreive and Waight's article (Ibid p.5) on enabling access to information by people with learning disabilities. The article reflects on the issues raised by this paper, drawing on 25 years' experience and research and concludes that accessible information needs to be tailored to the individual and part of a wider approach to improving access. As the original paper states, formats for information provision need to be tailored to individual abilities and practitioners should not rely on “easy read”. The author notes that it is unlikely that any technology will replace support from skilled people and provides a reminder that translating information does not equate to inclusion.

Journal article

The recognition of web pages' hyperlinks by people with intellectual disabilities: an evaluation study

Authors:
ROCHA Tânia, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 25(6), November 2012, pp.542-552.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The initiative for Web Accessibility (WAI) has defined a set of guidelines for designers concerned with accessibility issues. However, research has shown that these guidelines are insufficient to ensure people with intellectual disabilities have proper internet access. One of the most mentioned problems of web accessibility is related to the difficulty regarding the perception of what is or is not clickable in a web page. This study aimed to investigate the recognition of hyperlinks by people with intellectual disabilities, specifically asking whether hyperlinks in navigation menus are more perceptible with text or with images. The methodology was based on the direct observation, video recording, interview and data obtained by an eye tracker device. Ten participants with intellectual disabilities were divided into 2 groups and asked to perform 2 tasks in 2 websites. The first website presented an image navigation menu (INM), whereas the other one showed a text navigation menu (TNM). The tasks required each group to alternatively interact with the 2 different layouts. The findings clearly showed that images were more comprehensible than text, especially for the participants with reading difficulties.

Book Full text available online for free

Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities: guidance for people who commission or produce easy read information: revised edition 2010

Author:
GREAT BRITAIN. Department of Health
Publisher:
Great Britain. Department of Health
Publication year:
2010
Pagination:
37p.
Place of publication:
London
Edition:
Rev. ed.

Good practice guidance on commissioning and preparing easy read information for people with learning disabilities. Main areas covered include: defining easy read, commissioning material, and involving people with learning disabilities. Short case study examples are included. An additional section briefly covers other formats, such as audio, video/DVD, or interactive CD-ROMs or webpages. Annexes cover: Guidelines for producing Easy Read; Supplementary guidelines for professional typesetting and printing. The document is primarily at local and national public sector organisations who produce public information specifically for people with learning disabilities.

Journal article

Passport to health

Authors:
BLAIR Jim, GLAYSHER Kirsty, COOPER Sue
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, 10(1), January 2010, pp.28-30.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

To help improve the hospital experience and the standard for care for people with learning disabilities and their families, St Georges Hospital in south west London has been running a new passport scheme. The passport contains important information about the person, such as their health and health difficulties, likes and dislikes, and any medication that they may be on. It is divided into 3 sections: things that must be known; things that are important; and likes and dislikes. The information provides a good overview of the whole individual and not just their ill health, and enables the staff to understand them as people and thus provide better care. Passports have been widely distributed to people with learning disabilities, and are filled out by the person or their supporters before admission. Following the success of the scheme with people with learning disabilities, it has also been rolled out to people with dementia care needs, mental health problems, people who have experienced strokes, and younger people.

Book Full text available online for free

How to make information accessible: a guide to producing easy read documents

Author:
CHANGE
Publisher:
Change
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
46p.
Place of publication:
Leeds

This guidance produced by the National Equality Partnership and CHANGE, a national organisation led by disabled people, aims to make written information accessible to those who may find reading and writing difficult. Central to this is the belief that people who have learning difficulties have the expertise and knowledge to prepare such a document, and have done so with this guide. Here, accessible information means easy words and pictures, a style of language developed by people with learning disabilities over the past 15 years. Characterised by writing in short, simple sentences without jargon or hard words, clear and easy to understand pictures are used to support words, with an added value of helping those who do not have English as a first language. It takes time and money to create information to the easy words and pictures standard, so it is important to choose carefully which documents to use. It is suggested that some information could be made more accessible by the use of other, cheaper methods such as multimedia. The authors define jargon and hard words, detail laws such as the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and the 2006 Disability Equality Duty (DED) and advise on involving people with learning disabilities on how to improve accessibility and presentation of documents.  Presented throughout, in the style of easy words and pictures, practical advice is given on how to prepare a document with a checklist and examples of good practice concluding the text.

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