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Inspired Services Guide to Making Information Easier.

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1 Inspired Services Guide to Making Information Easier.

2 Guide to Making Information Easier This Guide to Making Information Easier was first published in January The Guide is licensed for use on one computer only and must not be copied or distributed in any other form. Reference to the Guide should include the publishers Inspired Services, a contact telephone number and web address The Guide has been written with a view to longevity. Inspired Services has made considerable efforts to ensure the contents and contacts are correct at the time of going to press. Inspired Services cannot, however, accept any responsibility for incorrect or out of date information. Updates may be available in future, please contact us on the number above.

3 Introduction The purpose of this Guide is to enable you to make your information accessible to as many people as possible. Including people who are: Blind, Deaf, have a Learning Disability, Older People, Young People and children, and Ethnic Minority groups. Inspired Services Telephone: Web:

4 General Information These guidelines are split into various sections. Some people will cross these boundaries and in these instances the relevant sections will need to be merged. For instance older people may be blind or have dementia. If they have dementia then the guidelines for people with severe learning disabilities needs to be looked at, although some of this is incorporated within the older people section.

5 General Information The buttons across the top of each page have the following actions, from left to right: –Take you back one page –Take you forward one page –Take you back to the last page you look at –Take you to the main home page Any queries about these guidelines should be directed to Inspired Services.

6 Toolkit Contents Blind Deaf Ethnic Minorities Young People Learning Disability Older People Picture Bank

7 Blind or partial sight Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

8 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: E – text: Postage: 20 to 36 Black or Dark Blue FS ME or Arial (Bold) White / pale yellow - matt A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen 1½ or 2 times line space Letters spread apart Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line Used with screen readers Postage is free to registered blind people

9 Font Sizes People who are partially sighted need text in font size 20 or over. Some need it as large as size 36 to be able to be independent.

10 Font Styles A clear sans serif font (those with extra little lines) draws the eye to the letters more. Arial or FS me are good examples of this. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Capital letters in words, titles and the body of text should be avoided. Italics should not be used. Underlining should also be avoided – the shape of letters is more difficult to recognise.

11 Font Colour The contrast between the text and background is extremely important – people who are partially sighted have difficulty with colour perception. The contrast should be dark against light. Some people with partial sight find that light letters against a dark background is better if it is on a screen.

12 Paper Colour Paper colour can be varied but should be either: –light with dark text –dark with light text. Contrast should be strong to ensure that text is easier to read. Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars. This has been done in this program

13 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the larger text is too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

14 Handwriting – 1 · Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen. – If you have a lot of room use a large, thick pen and write big.

15 Handwriting – 2  Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. · Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

16 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next should be at least 1½ to 2 times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: Highlight the desired text. If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ Select ‘Paragraph’ Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ Select ‘1½ lines’ or ‘Double’ Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard

17 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. Spread the letters out. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

18 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column.

19 Alignment Left alignment is highly recommended Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read.

20 Line length Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + T’ –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ‘ALT + W’ –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

21 E-text - 1 E-text is an electronic document that is read by a screen reader on a computer. E-text material may be sent on disk, CD-ROM or over the Internet. It is a cheap and easy way to reach a growing number of blind and partially sighted people. If the document is lengthy it can be broken down into smaller files very easily for ease of navigation. Remember to put a contents page so that the listener knows which file to look at for specific information

22 E-text - 2 Your file will need to be saved as a text-only version. (Save As type Plain Text). You will then be able to see what will appear on the screen reader. Information should be read from left to right. Use common symbols, letters, numbers, punctuation and currency signs. A different coloured font to highlight a piece of text will not be read by the reader. Words need to be used.

23 E-text - 3 Tables and columns should not be used as these are very difficult to make sense of with this system. Excel spreadsheets can be used for this type of data if there is quite an amount. Forms can be made by writing the question and letting the service user press ‘end’ where they fill in their response to you.

24 E-text - 4 Headings can be denoted with symbols such as a plus sign. Two plus signs for a major heading and one for a minor. This makes it easier to find particular text again. Use sensible names for the files and label clearly. If sending through the post label the media in such a way that it makes sense – Braille or a furry material shape for instance. Labelling guns are available from the RNIB.

25 Free Postage Postage is free through the Post Office to registered blind service users. Enquire at Post Office Counters Ensure that all media is packaged well so that tapes, videos, CD’s or Braille does not get damaged in the post. Braille can be particularly delicate. If the dots are crushed then it can prove to be unreadable.

26 Pictures 1  If pictures are placed within boxes, include a frame so that they are easier to locate  Illustrations should be line drawings with thick, dark strokes or outlines  Avoid pictures with undefined edges and highly stylised or abstract images

27 Pictures 2  Photographs and images should be as large as possible without being grainy.  Photographs should not be too grainy or too detailed.  Avoid fitting text around images – lines of text start in a different place and are therefore difficult to find.

28 Audio Media - 1 CD’s are the preferred choice, although MP3 files are catching up fast, some people may still request information on tape. CD’s and MP3s are better for large documents. If the audio is recorded with each section as a separate track then this makes it easier to find a relevant passage.

29 Audio Media - 2 Use a contents list with track numbers instead of headings. When the item is reached, repeat the number. This makes navigation easier. If a tape, do not to use both sides unless you really do have enough information to fill them. If you do, tell the listener in the contents page which side of the tape the items are. The first words should tell the listener –Who the audio is from –What is on it –How long a tape is –How long the recording is

30 Audio Media - 3 Give an overview of what’s on the audio Don’t repeat information, such as phone numbers. A separate contacts track is useful for easy access. Tell the listener when each track has finished so that they don’t think the silence is a jam or power failure. If you are recording the audio yourself, make sure the room is carpeted or curtained so that there are no echoes.

31 Audio Media - 4 Be aware of background noise. Are you wearing clanking jewellery or turning pages noisily? Use the pause control between each item you are recording. This gives you time to turn pages and think how you are going to say what you are recording. Get someone who hasn’t seen the text to listen to the audio before you send it out. Label the audio either with Braille or some shape in card or furry material to identify it.

32 Visual Media - 1 There are techniques which can be used to make sure that videos are accessible to blind and partially sighted viewers. AUDIO DESCRIPTION This is used to explain facial expressions, action, scenery – anything which helps the blind and partially sighted person follow what is happening. It is used primarily to enhance drama material. NB: To provide a described version, a separate duplication master would have to be created.

33 Visual Media - 2 It may not be practical, cost effective or necessary to provide audio description for non- commercial material. Writing: The audio description of material is provided once production has been completed, so that music and sound effects can be taken into account. The describer should have writing experience and have been professionally trained in audio description techniques.

34 Visual Media - 3 Narrating: The narrator’s voice must blend in and be sympathetic with the original material. The narrator’s voice should complement the video, therefore sometimes a female voice is preferable, and other times a male voice. The narrator does not “act” the description but should read it in a clear, pleasant voice – and if appropriate, reflect the mood of the work by moderating the use of his or her voice. If the video is aimed at an older audience the narrator should be male, or female with a low frequency voice. A higher pitched voice is more difficult to hear.

35 Visual Media - 4 Recording: The audio description should be recorded professionally. Please contact Inspired Services, for prices. Audio description is often read over music and effects – a good balance is essential to meet as many people’s needs as possible, bearing in mind some may also suffer from a hearing impairment.

36 Visual Media – 5 Alternative ways to make videos accessible Use of Narration: Narration should be used effectively. All activities should be explained. All speakers or participants are identified by name and job title or role. Scenes of different activities are clearly linked. Text on Screen: Text can be used for a range of purposes but only when the information is also provided verbally. The main uses of text is for identifying speakers, so it is essential that the narrator also gives this information, or that the speakers introduce themselves.

37 Visual Media - 6 Text is used for the opening titles or to give information about fact-sheets or help-lines. This is vital information which must also be given verbally. Graphics: Avoid using graphs, charts and drawings. If they are necessary, ensure the narration can explain the information clearly. Confusing images: Too many different images = confusing. Avoid any background activity that does not reflect what a foreground speaker is discussing.

38 Visual Media - 7 Music and sound effects: These can be annoying or confusing if they are used at the same time as the dialogue. If sound effects are used they should correspond with the dialogue or narration. Sound quality: If material has been shot on different locations, pay attention to sound quality. The overall quality must be of a high standard. Background noise is both distracting and irritating, causing frustration and loss of interest to the viewer. VIDEO PACKAGING/LABELLING Make sure all video sleeves and packaging meet the Clear print guidelines. You should include the name of the video in large print and Braille on the video and the sleeve or packaging.

39 Sensory Communication Braille is good if the information is to be reviewed and remembered, say for a meeting, or is a poster or leaflet for information. If the document is long or out of date quickly then other media may be better. Consider an electronic text document to be read on a screen with a speech reader or an audio version. English standard Braille should be used. The Braille dot should be dome shaped.

40 Sensory Communication Grade 1 Braille should be used for single words and short descriptions. It is a letter by letter translation usually used for labels. Grade 2 Braille should be used for longer descriptions and sentences. It has dot combinations to represent common words such as ‘the’ and ‘for’ and therefore takes less space and is quicker to read. Standard Braille dimensions should be used. A table of these is on the next page.

41 Braille Dimensions HORIZONTALVERTICALCELL TO CELLLINE TO LINE DOT TO DOT 2.29mm2.54mm6mm10.41mm MIN DOTVERTICALDOT HEIGHTDOT RADIUS BASE DIAMETER 1.4mm1.5mm0.46mm0.8mm

42 Interactive Media – 1 Flexible website design – user should be able to adjust the text and colour settings. Tag PDFs so they are read out in the right order with proper descriptions of illustrations. Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content. Provide a text version: text is the most versatile, it can be displayed on screen, read out loud, printed on paper or converted into Braille.

43 Interactive Media – 2 Do not rely on colour alone – the user may not be able to see the colour. Underlining hyperlinks is more useful than colour alone. Good contrast between background and foreground colours. Users may not be able to cope with moving or blinking text so avoid these.

44 Interactive Media – 3 Users also may be easily distracted by a constantly moving element on the page. Remember: not everyone can use a mouse! Nor can everyone view a monitor. These people are more likely to use a keyboard or voice input to control their browser. Do not depend on the user being able to position a mouse cursor on a small or moving area.

45 Interactive Media – 4 The more information you provide users regarding how your page or site is structured, the easier they will find it to use, navigate and understand. Use the simplest, clearest language and design that is consistent with the content of your page. Break long documents into shorter, more easily understood pages with clear links from one page to the next.

46 Deaf or deafened Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

47 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: Black or Dark Blue is best FS Me or Arial Any contrasting colour A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen Standard or 1½ times Standard letter spacing Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line

48 Font Sizes  People tend to prefer font size 14 – 18 as they get older and their sight may become more restricted as well.  Those with an associated learning disability prefer text of size 16 – 20.

49 Font Styles Arial or FS Me is preferred as the letters have been seen as more readable. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Upper case in words, titles and the body of text should be avoided, use capital or lower case. Italics may be used.

50 Font Colour Fonts may be of any colour but a contrast with the paper colour is advised. Light font colours are more difficult to see – strong dark colours should be used.

51 Paper Colour Paper colour can be varied but should be either: –light with dark text –dark with light text. Contrast should be strong to ensure that text is easier to read. Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars. This has been done here.

52 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the text and pictures can get too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

53 Handwriting – 1  Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen.

54 Handwriting – 2 Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

55 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next can be standard or 1½ times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Paragraph’ – Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ – Select ‘1½ lines’ – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

56 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. There is no need to space the letters out but you can if you want to for clarity. Directions on the next page.

57 Word Spacing This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ – Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard

58 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column.

59 Alignment Left alignment is recommended Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read.

60 Line length Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ or press ‘ALT + T’ –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ‘ALT + W’ –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

61 Pictures  Use photographs or pictures that clearly demonstrate the meaning of the text.  Pictures should include relevant images of Deaf or deafened people.  Photographs and images should be as large as possible without being grainy.  Comprehensible photographs are better than graphics and drawings.

62 Pictures  The preferred order of use is: 1.Comprehensible colour photographs 2.Colour graphics and drawings 3.Plain black and white photographs 4.Black and white graphics and drawings

63 Audio Media 1 Hearing Aids Analogue hearing aids only accept sounds from in front of the person. This means that any noise behind them will go unheard. Digital hearing aids will accept sounds from all around the head. This can be disconcerting for the new user who is used to an analogue hearing aid.

64 Audio Media 2 Radio Aids Radio aids are very useful in amplifying the sound but the wearer must remember to switch this off when it is no longer being used, otherwise sounds may be heard from unsuitable environments e.g. a staff room or toilet! If there is a particularly noisy stage e.g. people moving along a corridor outside, then the radio aid may be turned off for this short period to avoid discomfort. Please remember to turn it back on once the noise has returned to a lower level.

65 Audio Media 3 Radio Aids cont Try not to wear jewellery, tie clips etc that can knock the radio aid microphone and produce noise. Do not fiddle with, or tap into the microphone and don’t shout at any time. The microphone should be held or worn about 15 – 20 cm from the mouth. It may also be passed around if a group of people are speaking. This helps enormously as it also means that only the person with the microphone can speak.

66 Audio Media 4 Minicom Many service users in this group use a Minicom phone. This is a text phone for use on a standard phone landline. Typetalk There is an operator service by which people without a text phone can communicate with those who use a Minicom. The person will phone the operator and give the message. This will be typed in and sent to the Minicom user, who will type back the answer. This is then read by the operator and relayed to the first person. This service is provided free from BT. If you wish to call a text phone user, simply dial 18002, then the full telephone number of the person you wish to speak to. Once the text phone has been answered, an RNID Typetalk operator will join the line to relay your call.

67 Communicating 1 Communication Skills Make sure that you have the person’s attention before starting a conversation. Make sure you are facing them and maintaining good eye contact. Try to have your eyes on the same level as theirs.

68 Communicating 2 Be aware that if you wear glasses this can make it difficult to maintain eye contact. Allow space (about one to two metres) for lip-reading or signing. Use a well-lit room and do not stand with your back to a window. This makes it difficult to read facial expressions or lip- read.

69 Communicating 3 Speak clearly, naturally and at a normal pace. Over exaggerating or shouting distorts the lip pattern and makes it impossible to lip-read. Try to keep background noise to a minimum. A carpeted and curtained room wherever possible will help with this. Gestures and facial expressions can be helpful even if the person does not use sign language.

70 Communicating 4 Don’t block the view of your face when you are speaking. Keep beards and moustaches trimmed (if applicable). Do not eat or smoke whilst communicating. When in a group speak one at a time. It is helpful if the speaker raises their hand before talking so that the person knows who is speaking.

71 Communicating 5 Make sure you let the person know when there is a new topic of conversation. Some words or signs may not be easily understood, in which case use a different word or sign with the same meaning. Be careful of using unusual words. Pause between sentences and check that the person has understood you, and that you have understood them. Encourage them to stop you if they don’t understand what the conversation is about.

72 Communicating 6 Group Situations In a group situation try to repeat what has been said in a different way so that there is a second chance to pick it up. Have the person placed so that they are able to see as many of the group as possible. Have only one person speaking at a time. It helps if a hand is raised if a person wishes to speak and then everyone knows who is talking.

73 Visual Media Visual media needs to have either signing from BSL or sub-titling. BSL Signing should be included if there is an associated learning disability. In this case Makaton signing may be more appropriate, check which is preferred. Makaton Actors need to face the camera at all times when they are speaking so lip patterns can be clearly seen. Words should not be shouted, or spoken more slowly than normal, as this distorts the lip pattern.

74 Sensory Communication BSL (British Sign Language) This may be the first language for service users within this group. English perhaps being taught as a second. BSL has it’s own grammar and this is not the same as English. Material cannot be translated word for word. BSL has it’s own words for some things but also there are English words for which there is no sign.

75 Sensory Communication BSL has dialects across the country. This arises from students in special schools developing their own idioms and passing them on. You can tell which school a person learnt BSL at by some of the words used. Due to this last fact, great care has to be taken when videoing signers that no dialect words are used as the viewer cannot stop the person and ask for clarification if they do not understand. Signed videos can be commissioned from Inspired Services, on

76 Sensory Communication This is commonly used for names, places and for words which do not have a sign. BSL uses these to supplement its own language e.g. mother is a double tap of the fingerspelling ‘m’ shape. Fingerspelling Alphabet

77 Sensory Communication Signed English This system uses signs in English word order with additional gestures to convey the grammar. A sign is used for every English word. Signs and fingerspelling are used plus 14 sign markers for the grammar. It is not a language and can be very slow.

78 Sensory Communication Sign Supported English SSL uses the signs from BSL, but in English word order. Not every word is signed. Grammatical information can often only be picked up by lip-reading. Easier for non-signers to learn.

79 Sensory Communication Paget-Gorman Sign System This system is always used with speech. Signs are in 37 basic categories. Two signs are made at the same time, one hand making the category sign and the other the sign of the specific object or meaning. It is now rarely used with deaf people but is still used for people with a learning disability or language disorder.

80 Sensory Communication Makaton This is not a language but a means of communication mostly used by those with a variety of communication and learning disabilities. It uses manual signs, graphic symbols and speech. Signalong This is a fairly new system, based on spoken English but making use of BSL signs. Again it is primarily used for those with a learning disability. It uses spoken language, gestures, facial expression, tone of voice and the signs.

81 Interactive Media Provide a text version: text is the most versatile form of interactive media. Give good visual indicators for navigating around. Use the simplest, clearest language and design that is consistent with the content of your page. Break long documents into shorter, more easily understood pages with clear links from one page to the next. Avoid moving and blinking text or graphics.

82 Ethnic Minorities Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

83 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: Languages: Black or Dark Blue is best Comic Sans or Arial White or pale colours A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen Standard or 1½ times Standard letter spacing Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line Translation for non-English speakers

84 Font Sizes People tend to prefer font size 14 – 18 as they get older and their sight may become restricted as well. Those with an associated learning disability prefer text of size 16 – 20.

85 Font Styles Arial or FS Me is preferred as the letters have been seen as more readable. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Upper case letters in words, titles and the body of text should not be used – use capital case. Italics should not be used. Underlining should be avoided as the shape of letters is more difficult to recognise.

86 Font Colour Fonts may be of any colour but a contrast with the paper colour is advised. Light font colours are more difficult to see – strong dark colours should be used. If there is an associated learning disability then Black or Dark Blue should be used.

87 Paper Colour Paper colour can be varied but should be either: –light with dark text –dark with light text. Contrast should be strong to ensure that text is easier to read. Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars as has been done here.

88 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the larger text is too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

89 Handwriting – 1  Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen. – If you have a lot of room use a large, thick pen and write big.

90 Handwriting – 2 Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

91 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next can be standard to 1½ times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Paragraph’ – Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ – Select ‘1½ lines’ – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

92 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. Spread the letters out. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ – Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard

93 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column.

94 Alignment Left alignment is recommended Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read

95 Line length Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ or press ‘ALT + T’ –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ‘ALT + W’ –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

96 Non-English Speakers Pictures and symbols should be used to aid understanding wherever possible. Text should be spaced out and clearly written Leaflets and tapes can be translated into over 140 different languages contact Inspired Services for more information,

97 Pictures  Photographs, graphics and graphical symbols that are explicit should be used throughout any documentation for this service user group.  Pictures should include relevant images of people from ethnic minorities. Make sure good representation across the professions.  Photographs and images should be as large as possible without being grainy.

98 Pictures  Graphics should help to make the context of the text as clear as possible and be used often. Every paragraph, or even each sentence should have an illustration to clarify it’s meaning.  The preferred order of use is:  Comprehensible colour photographs.  Colour graphics and drawings.  Plain black and white photographs.  Black and white graphics and drawings.

99 Audio Media Audio CD’s or MP3’s can be made in many different ethnic languages using a translation service. If care is taken with composing the material to be translated it can be used for people from ethnic minority groups who also encompass other groups e.g. learning disabilities.

100 Visual Media Videos can be made using actors from ethnic minorities performing in the basic minority languages. Visual media should be relevant to the service user group it is intended for. Try not to use settings that are very ‘English’ or European if that’s not where someone is from. Videos may be made in English as long as the content is perfectly clear, with well-defined scenes portraying the intended message.

101 Sensory Communication Gestures and hand signals should be used to aid interpretation of the spoken word. There does not appear to be a symbolic communication system that is used in other countries. However, some of the symbols used in Makaton and Widget are mostly self- explanatory and can be used with caution.MakatonWidget 3D Objects, or 2D photographs can be used to illustrate meaning.

102 Interactive Media Give good visual indicators for navigating around. Use the simplest, clearest language and design that is consistent with the content of your page. Break long documents into shorter, more easily understood pages with clear links from one page to the next. Avoid moving and blinking text or graphics. Use pictures to clearly illustrate meaning.

103 Learning Disabilities Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

104 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: Pictures: 16 – 20 (20 if possible) Black or Dark Blue Comic Sans or Arial (Bold) White or pale colours A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen 1½ or 2 times line space Letters spread apart Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line Always use these to aid the understanding

105 Font Sizes People who have a learning disability need text in a font size between 16 and 20. Sometimes smaller text can be used that is in a bold black font and has the letters spaced out.

106 Font Styles Arial or FS Me is preferred as the letters have been seen as more readable. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Upper case in words, titles and the body of text should be avoided, use capital or lower case. Italics may be used. Underlining should be avoided – the shape of letters is more difficult to recognise

107 Font Colour The contrast between the text and background is extremely important – people who have a learning disability need this. The contrast should be dark against light. Bold black, dark blue or bold red are good choices. Care needs to be taken with the bold red as it can make the text look very authoritative or dominant.

108 Paper Colour Paper colour should be either white or pastel colours as this provides a greater contrast with the dark text. Pale yellow or green was found to be quite good. Some people with autism find a particular background colour helps them (often yellow). Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars.

109 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the larger text is too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

110 Handwriting – 1  Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen. – If you have a lot of room use a large, thick pen and write big.

111 Handwriting – 2 Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

112 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next should be at least 1½ to 2 times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Paragraph’ – Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ – Select ‘1½ lines’ or ‘Double’ – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

113 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. Spread the letters out. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ – Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard

114 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column. If you have to use difficult words, provide a definition underneath the first and a glossary at the beginning or end of the document.

115 Alignment Left alignment essential. Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read.

116 Line length 1 Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. Sentences should be kept short, around words in length. See the next page on how to easily count words in Microsoft Word.

117 Line length 2 To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ on the top bar or press ALT + T –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ALT + W –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

118 Pictures 1  Pictures should be used to clarify each paragraph.  Some may request they should be used for each sentence or even each word, as in writing with symbols.  Illustrative content should be highly relevant to the text. Do not put a picture in just for the sake of it.

119 Pictures 2  Photographs and images should be as large as possible without being grainy  The preferred order of use any picture is: 1.Comprehensible colour photographs or drawings. 2.Plain black and white photographs. 3.Black and white graphics and drawings.

120 Audio Media 1 Audio tracks should be used for this service user group. Usually now on CD or MP3. These users find it much easier to understand if they have a leaflet AND a CD to follow. Tapes are still occasionally requested, as are MP3 files. CD’s are better for large documents. If the audio is recorded with each section as a separate track then this makes it easier to find a relevant passage.

121 Audio Media - 2 Use a contents list with numbers instead of headings. When the item is reached, repeat the number. This makes navigation easier. If using tape, try not to use both sides unless you really do have enough information to fill them. If you do, tell the listener in the contents page which side of the tape the items are.

122 Audio Media - 3 The first words should tell the listener –Who the CD is from –What is on it –How long the recording is Give an overview of what’s on the CD. Don’t repeat information, such as phone numbers. Have a separate contacts track. The listener can always go to that to hear it again.

123 Audio Media - 4 If you are recording the audio yourself, make sure the room is carpeted or curtained so that there are no echoes. Be aware of background noise. Are you wearing clanking jewellery or are you turning pages noisily? Use the pause control between each item you are recording. This gives you time to turn pages and think how you are going to say what you are recording.

124 Audio Media - 5 Get someone who hasn’t seen the text to listen to the audio before you send it out. Label the tape, either with a large font clear sticker or some shape in card to identify it. Good looking printed CDs are more attractive. CD’s can be commissioned, printed or duplicated by Inspired Services, on

125 Visual Media Users with more profound learning disabilities liked this media. It is much easier for them to understand and when they get tired they can stop it and come back to it, doing just a little at a time. Break the message down into short bursts of activity with a small break in between so that it is easier to stop for a while if preferred. Scenes need to be very specific about the message they are conveying. Videos may need to have signing from either Makaton or Signalong included within it. MakatonSignalong

126 Sensory Communication Objects of Reference People needing to communicate with service users in this group who have very special needs find that using objects that mean something personal to the service user can help. These can be 3D objects such as say a bath sponge for asking about hygiene or 2D objects such as a photograph of their family to ask if they are allowed visitors.

127 Interactive Media Many of the service users in this group who have mild to moderate needs find that computers aid their communication. Some service users who, for example, have little verbal communication or have no control over their limbs also find that they can interact with others through using a computer. Keep the pages very simple with just one idea on them and clear links to others.

128 Interactive Media Use large relevant graphics for the links with the text prominently displayed. Clearly explain any difficult words used. Keep sentences short, 15 – 20 words long. Use large fonts, with a clear and consistent style. Break up the text into paragraphs of a sentence or two.

129 Older People Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

130 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: 16 – 20 (Larger is better) Black or Dark Blue Comic Sans or Arial (Bold) White or pale yellow A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen 1½ or 2 times line space Letters spread apart Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line

131 Font Sizes People tend to prefer font size 16 – 20 as they get older and their eyesight becomes more restricted. Those with dementia may prefer text of around size 18 – 22, illustrated with relevant pictures to aid understanding.

132 Font Styles Arial or FS Me is preferred as the letters have been seen as more readable. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Upper case in words, titles and the body of text should be avoided, use capital or lower case. Italics may be used. Underlining should not be used as the shape of letters is more difficult to recognise

133 Font Colour The contrast between the text and background is extremely important – people who have a learning disability need this. The contrast should be dark against light. Bold black, dark blue or bold red are good choices. Care needs to be taken with the bold red as it can make the text look very authoritative or dominant.

134 Paper Colour Paper colour should be white or pastel colours. Pale yellow, blue or green are quite acceptable for older people. Contrast should be strong to ensure that text is easier to read. Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars as has been done here.

135 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the larger text is too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

136 Handwriting – 1  Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen. – If you have a lot of room use a large, thick pen and write big.

137 Handwriting – 2 Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

138 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next should be at least 1½ to 2 times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Paragraph’ – Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ – Select ‘1½ lines’ or ‘Double’ – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

139 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. Spread the letters out. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ – Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

140 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column.

141 Alignment Left alignment is recommended. Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read.

142 Line length Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ or press ‘ALT + T’ –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ‘ALT + W’ –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

143 Pictures  Pictures should include relevant images of older people and their environment.  For those with dementia, pictures should be used to clarify each sentence or even each word, as in writing with symbols.  Graphics should help to make the context of the text as clear as possible.

144 Pictures  The preferred order of use is: 1.Comprehensible colour photographs. 2.Colour graphics and drawings 3.Plain black and white photographs 4.Black and white graphics and drawings

145 Audio Media 1 Audio tracks can be used for this service user group. They may be CD although tape is still fairly common with this age group. Users who have dementia find it much easier to understand if they have a leaflet AND a tape or CD to follow. Tapes are better for documents that need to be left and come back to as they are easy to rewind just a little.

146 Audio Media - 2 CD’s are better for large documents. If the audio is recorded with each section as a separate track then this makes it easier to find a relevant passage. Use a contents list with numbers instead of headings. When the item is reached, repeat the number. This makes navigation easier. Try not to use both sides of the tape unless you really do have enough information to fill them. If you do, tell the listener in the contents page which side of the tape the items are.

147 Audio Media - 3 The first words should tell the listener –Who the tape or CD is from –What is on it –How long the tape is –How long the recording is Give an overview of what’s on the tape or CD. Don’t repeat information, such as phone numbers. The listener can always rewind if they need to hear it again.

148 Audio Media - 4 If you are recording the audio yourself, make sure the room is carpeted or curtained so that there are no echoes. Be aware of background noise. Are you wearing clanking jewellery or are you turning pages noisily? Use the pause control between each item you are recording. This gives you time to turn pages and think how you are going to say what you are recording.

149 Audio Media - 5 Get someone who hasn’t seen the text to listen to the audio before you send it out. Label the tape, either with a large font clear sticker or some shape in card or furry material to identify it. Tapes and CD’s can be commissioned from Inspired Services, on

150 Visual Media Users with dementia like this media. It is much easier for them to understand and when they get tired they can stop it and come back to it, doing just a little at a time. Break the message down into short bursts of activity with a small break in between so that it is easier to stop for a while if preferred. Scenes need to be very specific about the message they are conveying.

151 Sensory Communication Objects of Reference People needing to communicate with service users in this group who have very special needs find that using objects that mean something personal to the service user can help. These can be 3D objects such as say a bath sponge for asking about hygiene or 2D objects such as a photograph of their family to ask if they are allowed visitors.

152 Interactive Media Some of the older service users use this medium but it is quite rare. Therefore interactive media is not recommended for this particular group. If you particularly need to use computers and interactive media then use the same guidelines as for those with learning disabilities.

153 Children & Young People Writing Audio Media Sensory Interactive Pictures Visual Media

154 Writing and Text Font Size: Font Colour: Font Style: Paper Colour: Format: Handwriting: Line Spacing: Word Spacing: Paragraph Spacing: Alignment: Line length: Pictures: High contrast to paper Comic Sans or Arial (Bold) High contrast to fonts A4 or A3 if posters Clear, use felt tip pen 1½ or 2 times line space Letters spread apart Clear spaces between Left alignment is best 60 – 70 characters per line Always use these to aid the understanding

155 Font Sizes Those with a learning disability prefer text of around size 18 – 22. Children and young people with learning disabilities can read smaller text as long as it is a bold black font and has the letters spaced out.

156 Font Styles Arial or FS Me is preferred as the letters have been seen as more readable. Make sure the selected font has clear numerals. Use numbers instead of the word e.g. 5 instead of “five”. Upper case in words, titles and the body of text should be avoided, use capital or lower case. Italics may be used. Underlining should be avoided – the shape of letters is more difficult to recognise.

157 Font Colour The contrast between the text and background is extremely important. The contrast should be dark against light. Younger people enjoy having bright colours used for font. This is fine as long as the contrast is maintained with the paper used.

158 Paper Colour Paper colour can be varied but should be either: –light with dark text –dark with light text. Contrast should be strong to ensure that text is easier to read. Colour coding can be done by having white paper with different coloured bars as has been done here.

159 Paper Size A4 is a better size than any other. Too large and it’s difficult to hold. Too small and the larger text is too big for the page. Posters should be done on A3 or larger wherever possible. High contrast and a large font size (36 and up) is best for these.

160 Handwriting – 1  Use an appropriate pen: – A slightly thicker line improves its visibility and increases the size of people’s handwriting, making it easier to see. – Above a certain thickness, lines run into each other and are difficult to read. – Therefore use a medium thickness pen. – If you have a lot of room use a large, thick pen and write big.

161 Handwriting – 2 Use the appropriate ink – Use felt tipped pens rather than ballpoint or ordinary ink – they are usually easier to see because they give a clear unbroken line. Contrast – You should have a good contrast between your writing and the paper you are using – i.e. white paper/ dark ink.

162 Line Spacing The space between one line and the next should be at least 1½ to 2 times the space between the words. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Paragraph’ – Go to ‘Line Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + n’ – Select ‘1½ lines’ or ‘Double’ – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

163 Word Spacing Keep the same amount of space between each word. Be consistent. Spread the letters out. This can be done in Microsoft Word by: – Highlight the desired text. – If all the text is required then go to ‘Edit’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + e’ then choose ‘Select All’ or press ‘Ctrl + A’ – Go to ‘Format’ on the top bar or press ‘ALT + o’ – Select ‘Font’ with the mouse or use the  key – Go to the ‘Character Spacing’ tab on the window or use ‘ALT + r’ – Go to ‘Spacing’ or press ‘ALT + s’ – Select ‘Expanded’ with the mouse or use the  key – Press OK or ‘enter’  on the keyboard.

164 Paragraphs Leave a space between paragraphs – dividing the text gives the eye a break and makes reading easier. Text should be set horizontally as it is easier to read. Columns should have sufficient space between them, if they are too close the eye will jump to the text in the next column. If you have to use difficult words, provide a glossary either at the bottom of the page or at the beginning or end of the document.

165 Alignment Left alignment is recommended Avoid right aligned, centred (allowed for headings) and justified text. – Right aligned text produces a ragged left margin which can be a problem. – Justified text can result in stretched or crammed lines making them difficult to read. Avoid splitting words e.g. hyphens – this disrupts the reading flow. Text should not be vertical, angled or follow a curved line as it is more difficult to locate and read

166 Line length 1 Line length should be between characters per line. Lines that are too long or short can tire the eyes. Sentences should be kept short, around 15 – 20 words in length. See the next page on how to easily count words in Microsoft Word

167 Line length 2 To easily check the number of characters in a line in Microsoft Word: –Highlight the line by left clicking at the beginning, hold down the button and drag to the end of the line, release the mouse button. –Go to ‘Tools’ or press ALT + T –Go to ‘Word Count’ or press ALT + W –The number of characters in the highlighted area is displayed in the box, along with other statistics.

168 Pictures 1  Pictures should be used to clarify each paragraph for children and young people with a mild to moderate learning disability.  For others they should be used for each sentence or even each word, as in writing with symbols.  Illustrative content should be highly relevant to the text. Do not put a picture in just for the sake of it.

169 Pictures 2  Photographs and images should be as large as possible without being grainy  The preferred order of use is: 1.Comprehensible colour photographs. 2.Colour graphics and drawings 3.Plain black and white photographs 4.Black and white graphics and drawings

170 Audio Media 1 Audio tracks should be used for this service user group. They may be on MP3 or CD. These users find it much easier to understand if they have a leaflet AND a CD to follow. CD’s are better for large documents. If the audio is recorded with each section as a separate track then this makes it easier to find a relevant passage.

171 Audio Media - 2 Use a contents list with numbers instead of headings. When the item is reached, repeat the number. This makes navigation easier.

172 Audio Media - 3 The first words should tell the listener –Who the CD is from –What is on it –How long the recording is Give an overview of what’s on the CD Don’t repeat information, such as phone numbers. Have a contacts track, the listener can always go straight to that if they need to hear it again.

173 Audio Media - 4 If you are recording the audio yourself, make sure the room is carpeted or curtained so that there are no echoes. Be aware of background noise. Are you wearing clanking jewellery or are you turning pages noisily? Use the pause control between each item you are recording. This gives you time to turn pages and think how you are going to say what you are recording.

174 Audio Media - 5 Get someone who hasn’t seen the text to listen to the audio before you send it out. Label the tape, either with a large font clear sticker or some shape in card or furry material to identify it. CD’s can be commissioned from Inspired Services, on

175 Visual Media Users with more profound special needs like this media. It is much easier for them to understand and when they get tired they can stop and come back to it, doing just a little at a time. Break the message down into short bursts of activity with a small break in between so that it is easier to stop for a while if preferred. Scenes need to be very specific about the message they are conveying. Videos may need to have signing from either Makaton or Widget included within it. MakatonWidget

176 Sensory Communication Objects of Reference People needing to communicate with service users in this group who have very special needs find that using objects that mean something personal to the service user can help. These can be 3D objects such as say a bath sponge for asking about hygiene or 2D objects such as a photograph of their family to ask if they are allowed visitors.

177 Interactive Media Most of the service users in this group find that computers aid their communication needs and can be used for a variety of applications. Some service users who, for example, have little verbal communication or have no control over their limbs also find that they can interact with others through using a computer. Keep the pages very simple with just one idea on them and clear links to others.

178 Interactive Media Use large relevant graphics for the links with the text prominently displayed. Clearly explain any difficult words used. Keep sentences short, 15 – 20 words long. Use large fonts, with a clear and consistent style and bright colours. Break up the text into paragraphs of a sentence or two.

179 Picture Libraries, Symbols and Communication Methods Valuing People ClipArt Collection Makaton & TEACCH BoardMaker Writing with Symbols Change and People First Signalong

180 Valuing People Clip Art This more affordable library of clip art was originally developed to go with the Valuing People publications. The biggest difference is that the pictures are in high quality colour. This was found to be much more popular when compared with other symbol libraries in black & white. The library depicts disability within the community and also in health services. It includes ethnicity and different family backgrounds. Available from

181 Valuing People Clip Art Examples

182 Makaton and TEACCH This set of symbols is used nationally. It was found to be taught in schools for people with learning disabilities and used in care homes for older people. The Makaton programme can be used with autistic children and adults and is recognised as a useful method of developing communication. It can also be successfully integrated into the TEACCH and PECS programmes. Quite often children prefer to use the symbols first and later develop signs, but there is a considerable amount of evidence that many children on the autistic spectrum can also learn signs and use those effectively, so there is quite a variation amongst this population.

183 Makaton and TEACCH Symbol Examples Brother Sister Library Eat Sailor Nurse

184 BoardMaker Mayer-Johnson BoardMakerTM V5 This is a system by which symbols can be matched to words and displayed on a page to be printed or a board on a screen. Boards can be made up on a PC to your own requirements From Inclusive Technology

185 BoardMaker An incredibly flexible and powerful communication display maker. BoardMaker is a graphics database with 3,160 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) in bitmapped clip art. –make a professional communication display in minutes –quickly find pictures and paste them into your display –add your own pictures –create pictures or modify symbols –BoardMaker comes with assorted grids for communication boards or overlays. –The Windows version of BoardMaker is now Version 5.0. Now much easier to use and design communication boards. –thumbnails feature displays up to 49 pictures at once –pictures sorted into categories –PCS are vector-drawn graphics - scale to any size without reducing quality –paint tools added - fill, eraser, pencil, flip, rotate

186 Writing with Symbols Writing with Symbols 2000 is aimed at the serious symbol using community. It will support literacy development (the original Writing with Symbols is recommended in the National Literacy Activity Pack). It is of use in making accessible information materials for people with learning disabilities, and very importantly it will provide writing tools to develop "symbol literacy" for those with serious difficulties with text.

187 Writing with Symbols Text can be typed into the computer and the symbols appear above the words to aid in communications. Any text can be written and changed as often as is liked. It can then be printed and sent or read from the screen.

188 Valuing People ClipArt, Change and People First These picture libraries are becoming more widely used as the symbols are specifically designed for people with learning difficulties. Costs for the software are often less when bought by self advocacy groups.

189 Valuing People ClipArt Change and People First Examples

190 Signalong SIGNALONG is A sign-supporting system based on British Sign Languagesign-supporting system Designed to help children and adults with communication difficulties, mostly associated with learning disabilities. User-friendly for easy access.User-friendly Signalong is based on British Sign Language, using unaltered BSL signs wherever possible. The difference between Signalong manuals and other sources of signs, apart from our much wider range, is the way that they are presented.


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