On the 17 January, Autism-Europe led a training session on how to create easy-to-read communication materials as part of a day of activities organised by Inclusion Europe, the European association of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Participants came from Italian disability organisation Uniamoci Onlus, who had travelled to Brussels to learn from EU-level DPOs how to improve the accessibility of their written work.
Producing written material in an easy-to-read format is part of Autism-Europe (AE)’s strategic priority to foster accessible communication in order to support greater involvement of all, including people with learning difficulties in AE’s activities. Crucially, it is a way for AE to convey important information to as many people in the autism community as possible, letting people know what their rights are, and how they can get involved in advocating for these rights to be respected at the EU, national and local level.
AE was asked to share learning on easy-to-read communication with delegates from Italy following the development of its new communication tools in easy-to-read. This is most notably the case with the creation of a new easy-to-read interface option on AE’s website, as well as the possibility to now receive AE’s e-newsletter in an easy-to-read format.
Haydn Hammersley from the AE secretariat spoke to participants about the methodological basis for AE’s easy-to-read communication, founded on the European guidelines developed by Inclusion-Europe. He also explained what additional techniques AE uses to ensure greater accessibility of its work, including avoiding overstimulating visuals, making text less intimidating, and choosing the right pictograms to accompany text.