UK Government

Department of Health (National): New guidance on producing information for people with learning disabilities

Press Release   •   Nov 18, 2010 11:15 GMT

The government has launched new guidance to improve the standard of information for people with learning disabilities.

There are an estimated 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK. This guidance will help central and local government organisations understand how they can communicate with all disabled people, including people with learning disabilities.

The guidance focuses on creating Easy Read, which uses simple words and pictures to communicate complex messages. People with learning disabilities are involved in developing the publications to make sure they are easy to understand.

This guidance demonstrates the government's commitment to ensuring everyone can understand information that affects their everyday lives and can participate in their own community.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:

"People with learning disabilities need access to information which is easy to understand so they can make choices and decisions about their own lives. This guidance will help government provide better information to people with learning disabilities, which will help them achieve a more equal role in society."

Valuing People Now worked with disabled people, their organisations and the Office for Disability Issues to develop the new guidance.

Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller said:

"This guidance is just one way that we are raising the standards of accessible information. The Office for Disability Issues encourages civil servants to work with disabled people to make sure public services reflect their needs. Providing straightforward, simple information about public services benefits everyone, not just disabled people."

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact the Department of Health Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221

* There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK (Mencap).There are over 10 million disabled people in the UK (Family Resources Survey 2008/09).

* Valuing People Now is the strategy that aims to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. The Department for Health (DH) has recently launched the new accessible webpages for people with learning disabilities www.valuingpeoplenow.dh.gov.uk/

* The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) leads the government's vision of achieving equality for disabled people. ODI is a cross-government organisation that works with government departments, disabled people and a wide range of external groups.

* The publication 'Making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities: Guidance for people who commission or produce Easy Read information' is available to download from the Valuing People Now website: www.dh.gov.uk/valuingpeoplenow and the ODI website: www.odi.gov.uk/formats

* More information about delivering accessible and inclusive communications is available on the ODI website: www.odi.gov.uk/communications.

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