Over the last month PIF has gathered the views and experiences of 35 people working in health information, about creating accessible health information for people with learning disabilities.
We have asked them how they produce accessible information for people with learning disabilities, about the sorts of resources they produce, and how they involve people with learning disabilities in their work.
We also explored what barriers exist for information producers when seeking to develop more accessible information resources.
Easy read is the most frequently reported format being used to deliver accessible health information to people with learning disabilities. Other formats being used included video, ‘talking letters’, large print and plain English approaches.
Training that has supported information producers to develop accessible resources includes: events provided by CHANGE, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability and Mencap; in house training from learning disabilities teams; engaging with learning disability community groups and working with people with learning disabilities.
The majority of people producing accessible health information are involving people with learning disabilities in the development of resources.
The most common ways people with learning disabilities are involved in the development of information resources is in the design and content of information materials.
However, many organisations are involving people with learning disabilities right across their projects, from identifying information needs, to developing dissemination plans and evaluating impact.
Group discussions are the most popular way to engage people with learning disabilities in the development of information resources. Information producers are working with local community groups and health services, as well as their own service users, to identify people who want to be involved in their work.
Where organisations are not currently producing accessible health information for people with learning disabilities, not knowing the level of need for their information from this community was a theme that emerged, along with a lack of resources to support work in this area.
PIF and CHANGE are working together to address barriers to increasing the availability and quality of accessible health information for people with learning disabilities. The views gathered via a survey that was open in June 2016, and forms part of this work.