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Published 17 January 2023

Enable New Zealand and Firstport staff are grouped with People First staff standing in front of a wooden door.

People First New Zealand conducting their first Easy Read training with Enable New Zealand and Firstport.

Staff from Enable New Zealand and Firstport (Andrea Crutchley, Christian Flutey, Joanna Marshall, Lee Harrison and Mereaira Savage-Helmbright) met with People First New Zealand (Kathryn Parrish and Andi Buchanan) for an Easy Read training.

Easy Read translates information to support people with learning disabilities. It changes written information into a format they can more easily understand. People who are deaf/Deaf and others who have English as their second language also find Easy Read useful.

Easy Read has specific rules and conventions. While it uses many of the principles of plain English and plain language, it is distinct from these forms. Easy read uses written information, supported by images, with straightforward sentences using everyday words, and minimal jargon.

Easy Read helps with understanding by:

  • Using plain language with one idea per sentence
  • Arial font size 16, 1.5 spacing
  • Adding context and checking for assumed knowledge
  • Explaining difficult words and concepts
  • Avoiding abbreviations, conjunctions, and contractions
  • Including images to help explain the text.

As part of the New Zealand Disability Action Plan, accessibility must include the provision of information in various accessible formats.

Enable New Zealand provides information services in several ways under our Disability Information and Advisory Service (DIAS) contract. Our goal is to include Easy Read options to ensure all our documents and information is truly accessible.

People First and Make it Easy - Kia Māmā Mia is the national holder of standards for Easy Read in New Zealand and this was the very first training session conducted by them in person for an Organisation wanting to develop their own Easy Read resources.

The training was a truly fantastic opportunity to learn more about what we can do as an organisation to support our disabled community.

Examples of Easy Read can be found here (external link)