What we learned from writing our Easy Reads

Easy Reads are designed for people with a learning disability, but useful for everyone.

Covers of four Easy Read booklets

It’s Learning Disability Week from 17 to 23 June. In the UK, 1.4 million people have a learning disability. The week aims to improve the wellbeing of people with a learning disability.

Our mission is to make sure no one faces lymphoma alone, and we feel it is important to provide information for everyone affected by lymphoma. In January 2019, we published new Easy Read booklets, which are designed for people with learning disabilities. 

Our four Easy Read booklets cover: 

  • Finding out you have lymphoma
  • Watch and wait for lymphoma
  • Treatment for lymphoma
  • After treatment for lymphoma. 

Easy Reads are usually A4 in size. They have a minimum of size 16 font and use simple, short sentences. They have pictures next to each sentence to support what the words are saying.

We spent a year researching Easy Reads and visiting focus groups to gain insight into what format would be most accessible. Over that year, we learnt a lot about Easy Reads and about learning disabilities:

  1. Consistency is key. We decided to use one main character throughout our four booklets. This makes the booklets easier to follow, showing the steps that a person might go through from diagnosis to treatment and life after lymphoma. 
  2. Photos are important. Easy Read guidelines recommend using pictures to support the text. Some people might find it difficult to recognise that a simplistic illustration represents, for example, a radiotherapy machine. Using photos of medical equipment helps people know what to expect when they go for tests and treatment. 
  3. Easy Reads are for everyone. Everyone we spoke to said how useful Easy Read booklets are, not only for people with learning disabilities, but for everyone. We want to make sure everyone gets the information they need and knows more about the wide range of Easy Reads available.
I thought the Easy Read was extremely helpful and sensitively done. I read it to my son and he listened and looked at the pictures with ease. I feel happier that I could explain things to him with the support of easy reading. I think it’s an excellent booklet.
Jackie, whose son has a learning disability
Please help spread the word about our Easy Read booklets to anyone who would benefit from lymphoma information in this format.

17 June 2019