Investigating accessible information formats with people who have learning disabilities
evidence and practice    

Investigating accessible information formats with people who have learning disabilities

Mary Waight Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Bracknell, England
Warren Oldreive Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Bracknell, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the issues that some people with learning disabilities may experience when using easy-read materials

  • To be aware of the benefits of using various formats – including audio, video, computer programs and storytelling apps – to provide information to people with learning disabilities

  • To enhance your practice in the provision of accessible health information to people with learning disabilities

Background Providing people who have learning disabilities with accessible information can encourage them to engage with their health and with healthcare services, thereby contributing to reduce the health inequalities they encounter.

Aim To examine, with people with learning disabilities, different formats of accessible health information and explore with them which formats they found useful.

Method Six focus group sessions were undertaken in which ten people with learning disabilities expressed their views on different formats of accessible health information, including easy-read materials, videos, computer programs and websites. The sessions were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim, and the data were analysed using grounded theory. An easy-read report was submitted to the group to validate the findings.

Findings Participants felt valued when provided with information that acknowledged their learning disability and catered for their needs. When developing accessible information, it is important to consider the use of language, images, audio and video. Easy-read materials do not meet the needs of people with suboptimal reading skills, but technology can be used to address this issue.

Conclusion The findings of this research project reflect previous research, existing guidance on accessible information and the researchers’ experience, emphasising that it is important to use clear, jargon-free language. Further research into the use of narrative in health information provision would be useful.

Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2031

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

mary.waight@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Waight M, Oldreive W (2020) Investigating accessible information formats with people who have learning disabilities. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2020.e2031

Published online: 12 March 2020