Initiative revealed to help produce easy-read material

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A team of volunteers, including people with a learning disability, are preparing to tour the Borders teaching health and social care workers and volunteers how to produce easy-read documents.

The new ‘Tell Me’ project, launched by People First Borders, will see volunteers going out in teams of two to provide the half-day training workshop, between now and June.

Easy-read information is different from plain English or plain language, as it is writing that is clear and jargon free.

People First Borders Support Worker, Mary Daykin, explained: “Many people miss out on vital information because it is written in ways that do not work for them.

“We would like local authorities, health boards and other organisations to provide more information in an easy-read format.

“Easy-read is useful not only for people with a learning disability, but for those who cannot read well, or have English as a second language.”

Mary said difficulty understanding letters, reports and other documents was not just a problem for people with learning disabilities.

“We want to raise awareness of the need for and benefits of easy read documents, as well as teach people how to turn information into easy read,” she said.

The project has been funded by the Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations Programme, run by the Office for Disability Issues.

The team of volunteers has completed easy-read training and a ‘train the trainers’ course to prepare them for teaching what they have learned to others.

Training dates and towns are Monday, February 17 (Kelso), Wednesday, February 26 (Galashiels), Thursday, March 6 (Peebles), Tuesday, March 18 (Coldstream), Monday, March 31 (Duns), Tuesday, April 15 (Jedburgh), Wednesday, May 1 (Kelso), Monday, May 12 (Selkirk), Thursday, May 15 (Galashiels).

The training is free and, although particularly aimed at anyone who works or volunteers in health and social care, it is open to anyone with an interest in learning how to produce easy read documents.