Dame Anne Begg MP was delighted to attend the Scottish launch of the UK’s first easy read newspaper designed for people with learning disabilities. Inspire kindly hosted the launch at Café Coast and it was attended by some of the people they support.
Easy News is produced by disability charity United Response, and is designed to tackle the “information gap” facing many people with learning disabilities. United Response’s own research revealed that only 11% of people with learning disabilities read newspapers, usually because they are deterred by the complexity of the language. Partly as a result, just 16% of people with learning disabilities said they were interested in politics, and over half didn’t feel that politics actually had an impact on their daily lives. Easy News is designed to change that, with 58% of respondents saying that they would be interested in reading an accessible newspaper with simple language and strong visual images to help people understand.
Dame Anne said: “I was very impressed when I attended the launch of Easy News in the House of Commons so I was keen that it should be available in Scotland too. I’m particularly delighted that the Scottish launch is happening in Aberdeen.
“Not having access to news in a format which you can understand can make you feel left out of what is happening in the world. I hope that as many people as possible in Aberdeen will benefit from this newspaper.”
Easy News will be produced every other month and will be available in paper, downloadable PDF and audio versions. The second edition covers the horsemeat scandal, the Oscar Pistorius court case, a new report into disability benefits, the long winter and the EU referendum, amongst other topics and you can read it here: http://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Easy-News-Issue-2.pdf