A training for persons with intellectual disabilities and specialists on how to make easy-to-read information was organized in Minsk on November 8-10, 2017. The training was carried out by Eva Kremlíková, Pavlína Mroczkowská and Barbora Uhlířová – our partners from Inclusion Czech Republic. Employees of the enterprise “ArtIdea”, students from the workshop “Warm House”, persons living in the psycho-neurological boarding institution No 3, specialists from NGO “BelAPDIiMI” and Territorial centre of social services to population in Moskovskiy district of Minsk, the docent of the Institute for Inclusive Education and the psychologist of the psycho-neurological boarding institution No 3 participated in the training.
Easy-to-read language is a language which is accessible for persons who experience difficulties in reading or text comprehension. Its vocabulary is cut down, a structure of statements is simplified and text is written and placed in accordance with certain rules. Texts written in small print, texts containing words taken from other languages or professional vocabulary, without illustrations (it is also important!) create barriers for many people. It is necessary to translate texts into easy-to-read language in order to eliminate these barriers.
There were 2 groups of participants: the specialists and the youngsters with disabilities. They worked separately during 2 days and then, on the last day of the training, they worked together. The main focus for the specialists was creation of texts in easy-to-read language, a step-by-step instruction and use of images and pictograms.
Recommendations given by the Czech experts:
It is necessary to organize a few meetings with persons with disabilities before you start creating texts in easy-to-read language. These meetings will help to find out which information people with disabilities need most of all. Usually, we work with 3 persons; we find out what they are interested in, what they know about the topic and what they don’t. We work together to create a text. When the text is ready, we start working with images (pictograms and photos) which are also selected by persons with disabilities. The final variant of the text can be given to a 4th person who will evaluate whether the text is understandable or not.
People with disabilities who participated in the training learnt how to analyze and synthesize information, worked with images and prepared silent short videos.
The specialists and the future “evaluators” worked together, evaluated and corrected texts on the last day of the training.
Below you will see 2 texts on the same topic. Once is written in easy-to-real language. You will definitely understand which one.
MARRIAGE (matrimony) is a legal and social institution. Marriage is a free-will permanent life of 2 persons of different sex which is registered officially in a register office. According to the law, its main aim is to create a family and bring up children, biological and educational function and mutual support and assistance in other words.
MARRIAGE. Sometimes people who date during a certain period of time and love each other decide to get married and have a wedding. To marry a man whom you love means to become his wife. To marry a woman whom you love means to become her husband. Marriage is an important decision in your life.
When working with texts it is necessary to decide what you would like to explain. Details and knowledge of the rules of easy-to-read language are important. If you understand which information you need to explain and how, other people will understand you. When working with evaluators it is necessary to take into account individual peculiarities of every evaluator, his/her mood, wishes, a working place organized in a certain way, presence of special aids and many other things.
The training was carried out within the framework of the project “Access to information for people with disabilities or Easy-to-read language”. The project is being implemented with the assistance of the Support Programme of Belarus. The Support Programme of Belarus is implemented by Dortmund International Educational Centre (IBB Dortmund) on the request of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Society on International Cooperation.