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Have you heard of "Easy Read"?
I just came across an article on this. It seems that “Easy Read” is a pretty new system developed by People First in the UK.
Using small words and short sentences, it’s supposed to improve accessability. Everyone suffering from dyslexia or functional illiteracy is meant to benefit, as well as immigrants.
Here’s an example.
Plain English: “Thank you for your letter asking for permission to put up posters in the library. Before we can give you an answer we will need to see a copy of the posters to make sure they won’t offend anyone.”
Easy Read: “Thank you for your letter about your poster. We need to see the poster before we put it up. This is because it must not offend anyone. Offend means to upset people.”
This link will take you to some more examples.
There are translators working on Easy Read versions of bible parts, apparently, as well as manuals and health information.
I think it’s a great idea – and long overdue. Our convoluted way of writing may sound good, but it definitely creates barriers. What do you say?