Thursday, 16 December 2021

Burning the midnight oil with Access Easy English: Our experience at the Switzerland virtual Easy-to-Read Conference. Part 2.


Our team headed into Day 2 of the 2021 virtual KLAARA (Easy-to-Read) Conference feeling somewhat jet lagged by the time difference despite our feet staying firmly on Australian soil. The “jet-lag” was well worth it as we came away from the conference with fresh perspectives.


Day 2 talks explored:


·      The increased understanding of adults with ID when presented with concrete information rather than abstract.

·      The receptive language abilities of a group of primary school students with ID using the TROG-H test.

·      The problem of using negative sentences in Easy-to-Read.

·      Whether simplifying German text can inadvertently increase the complexity of the text.

·      Syntax of Easy-to-Read Polish using one idea per sentence and adjusting length of sentence to reduce complexity. What extent does this approach impact the understanding between simple and complex sentences?

·      The disconnect between experience of those who require Easy-to-Read content and those who don’t. How Easy-to-Read can lack the anticipated tact dealing with sensitive issues such as suicide.

·      The lack of Easy-to-Read sources on mental health in Australia for people with ID. Use of plain language can tick an accessibility box for organisation but not increase participation of those who have limited literacy.

·      The role of interlingual translation in providing Easy-to-Read resources for other languages where Easy-to-Read is not widely incorporated.

·      The issue of accessible websites assuming digital literacy.

·      Case studies on consumer testing and degree of supported mediation of the information.

·      Important components of Easy-to-Read and the role of knowing your reader.


Overall, the talks brought home the need to develop a more consistent and cohesive approach to accessible information. There is a need for society to begin to understand accessible text as a right, not a favour, and for accessible text to be backed with higher government and community expectations and standards. Not only for those with higher literacy at Plain Language level, the preferred accessible text approach by the Australian Government, but also those who require Easy English. 

 Look out for notices about the next conference in 2 years. Hopefully it will be face to face.

 Cass, Cathy and Rachel

Cathy Basterfield

Owner Access Easy English
Consultant – Speech Pathologist

Telephone: 0466 579 855



Twitter: @accesseasyengli

LinkedIn Cathy Basterfield

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