Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Scotland’s first easy read newspaper launched

Easy News Easy News, the UK’s first newspaper designed for people with learning disabilities, has been launched in Scotland.  

This follows the successful launch of Easy News in England earlier this year.

Information gap 
Easy News is designed to tackle the ‘information gap’ facing many people with learning disabilities. Research by United Response that only 11% of people with learning disabilities read newspapers, usually because they are deterred by the complexity of the language.

Partly as a result, just 16% of people with learning disabilities said they were interested in politics, and more than half didn’t feel that it had an impact on their daily lives. Easy News is designed to change that, with 58% of respondents saying that they would be interested in reading an accessible newspaper with simple language and strong visual images to help people understand.

Feel left out
Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, who was guest of honour at the Easy News launch event, held at the Inspire Café in Aberdeen, said: “I was very impressed when I attended the launch of Easy News in the House of Commons so I was keen that it should be available in Scotland too. I’m particularly delighted that the Scottish launch is happening in Aberdeen. Not having access to news in a format which you can understand can make you feel left out of what is happening in the world. I hope that as many people as possible in Aberdeen will benefit from this newspaper.”

The newspaper is translated into easy read by UR Consultants, a team of people with learning disabilities. One of the consultants, Nick Smith, said: “I like to stay informed. I watch the news two or three times a day, I like to see if anything’s changed. But I know some people who can’t keep up with things because they can’t read. I hope people like that will think Easy News is good, that it helps. The news is important for everybody.”

Easy News will be produced every other month and will be available in paper, downloadable PDF and audio versions. The second edition – the first in Scotland – covers the horsemeat scandal, the Oscar Pistorius court case, a new report into disability benefits, the long winter and the EU referendum, among other topics. 

Visit http://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/press/campaigns/easy-news/for more information.

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