Thursday, 9 December 2021

Easy English for a Virtual Conference 2021

Last month was the Australasian Society of Intellectual Disability (ASID) Conference. It was a virtual conference, like so many others have been in the last 18 months.

Being a virtual conference raises many issues regarding access to the digital platform for functional and meaningful engagement and learning opportunities.

We were the Silver Access Sponsor at the ASID conference. We developed 6 fact sheets in Easy English. We have had some comments that we have included lots of detail in how to set up and how to find things on the conference website. Having low digital literacy does mean you are less likely to be included.  

View of the Easy English fact sheets on the website ready for people at the conference to use.

The fact sheets were

·         What time do we start?

·        Steps to join the ASID conference

·        How do I use the conference website

·        Day 1 program

·        Day 2 program

·        You can look at these at any time.

 It is worth considering the most recent data from the AustralianDigital Inclusion Index, which was released in October 2021 for Digital Literacy. It noted that those with high digital inclusion prior to the pandemic have increased their digital literacy skills. However, for those with low and poor digital literacy, their digital inclusion has stayed the same. So, over the last 18 months the gap between has increased. The 2021 data did not include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nor people from the Northern Territory.

Look back at the 2020 data also (Scroll down the page a little to find it) as it does include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from the Northern Territory. It notes

·        2.5 million people do not have access to the internet;

·        4 million people only access the internet via a mobile phone. It limits their access to data but also being able to read content on websites in a reasonable size font, and even be able to readily connect to a printer to have a printed copy.


Who else is likely to have low digital inclusion indices?

·        House hold income Q5 ($35K)

·        Aged 65 +

·        Less than secondary education

·        People with Disability

·        Household income Q4 ($60k)

·        Not in workforce

·        Indigenous Australians

·        Older people. 

Rachel and Lisa from the Bumpy Road project presented a paper at the  conference on developing Easy English content on NSW Child protection issues for an Easy to use website. We supported their work in developing 31 Easy English fact sheets and a simple set up and navigation of the website.

There was also another paper at the conference which discussed the issues for people with low digital inclusion before the pandemic and what they needed support with to stay connected during the pandemic. See a later blog from Rachel.

Cathy Basterfield

Owner Access Easy English
Consultant – Speech Pathologist

Telephone: 0466 579 855



Twitter: @accesseasyengli

LinkedIn Cathy Basterfield

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