Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Using images to create meaning for COVID19

Thanks to The Workshop NZ for their blog discussion on clear and effective communication. 

posted on 2 April 2020 titled " Lifting people's gaze, a communications formula and concrete language."

They describe the importance of providing positive messages and steps for change, rather than focusing on the negative things we may be doing and using the language of blame and blame shifting.

An excerpt from
their blog

"During COVID-19 we want to enhance the interconnections we have with each other. We also need people to think about how those with the most influence can support us. People in government and employers have a significant role in helping us cope with staying at home and being mentally well. Our communications should focus there. 

We call this lifting people's gaze away from individual behaviour and choice and up to the systems and structures that have a much more powerful influence on shaping our lives and those behaviours. It is a kinder, more effective way to encourage the actions we want during times of fear and anxiety."

In just the same way, Easy English prefers to include information on what 'to do.'
Eg: You must stay at home.
Lots of things are closed. Like XXXXXX

The Workshop blog goes on to explain it is important to include concrete information.

From their blog again
Try staying at home instead of self-isolating.
Try stay within two kilometres of home instead of stay local.
Try contact tracing officers, researchers, and analysts instead of public health workers (most people don't know about public health workers and think healthcare starts and ends with doctors and nurses).
Try keeping  two metres between us instead of physical distance or bubble.

A great example of being very concrete on physical distance:’

It is great to see The Workshop illustrating this last point with one of Access Easy English' posters on COVID19. It is critical that all images selected are as clear and concrete for Easy English content. And it must be all through the document.
You could spend lots of time working out the language elements. Selecting clear and concrete images to support the messages is as critical to making your Easy English document accessible.

Learn more about choosing images when you come to my training.
Currently I am advertising the first online 2 day Easy English training. Face to face training is still being advertised in Sydney and Melbourne at the moment. However, I am not sure they will go ahead with the current restrictions. As soon as travel restrictions are lifted more face to face in other cities will be advertised.

Keep up to date with the evidence based quality Easy English COVID19 resources and training opportunities via my social media or email me and I will add you to my mailing list.

Stay safe

Cathy Basterfield
Owner Access Easy English
Consultant – Speech Pathologist
Telephone: 0466 579 855

LinkedIn: Cathy Basterfield
Twitter: @accesseasyengli

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