Why create EasyRead versions?
Creating accessible research outputs is supported by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The preamble to the CRPD recognises the importance of accessibility “in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Article 21 requires all information and services for the general public to be provided in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities. EasyRead formats, which include pictorial representations of information along with simple English, are still rare. Academics, researchers and communities collaborating to create accessible outputs can lead the way in demonstrating how accessible information can be created and shared, supporting other parties to follow suit.
I am attempting to put together a free library of images that can be used in creating EasyRead research materials like information sheets, consent forms and accessible research outputs. Self-advocates on every project that I have been involved in so far have expressed a preference for images that show actual humans rather than cartoons. It can be hard to find appropriate images so I have tried making some of my own. This has involved taking images that have a Creative Commons licence which allows reuse and modification. I’ve removed the backgrounds and any identifying information to create simple images, featuring people with disabilities wherever possible. Each image has its original information below as some of them have an attribution licence (you can use it for free but have to cite the source). Others are free to use without attribution, many of these are .png files from Pixabay, a great site for free images. I’ll be adding to this as I find new images – anyone who has suitable images that they would like to add, please get in touch! You can find the gallery on Pinterest: Easy Read Images
Here are a few of the better guidelines and image resources I’ve found so far:
Easy-to-read.eu has a comprehensive guide to European standards for accessible documents as well as training materials, guidelines and links to national organisations and projects. (H/T Magdi Birtha).
Easy-on-the-i is a fantastic NHS resource featuring a wide selection of cartoon images. It is tailored for those making EasyRead documents but can be adapted for other uses.
WALK has a plain English guide on how to Make It Easy.
MENCAP’s Make It Clear pdf has the bonus of being written in an EasyRead format.
IFLA has produced a comprehensive guideline to using different resources in its Guidelines for easy-to-read materials.
New Zealand’s Office for Disability Issues has various resources on its website.
As mentioned above, Pixabay has a huge gallery of images. Not all of them are free but all are licence-free and can be used without attribution.
If you or your organisation can afford the yearly subscription, Photosymbols has one of the highest quality stocks of disability-specific images available. Well worth it if you will be creating lots of documents. If you are a student it might be worth getting in touch with Pete Le Grys to talk about your specific project. You could also encourage your department to take out a group licence.
Flickr is also good for free images (check licences) but I’m not linking as I object to their mandatory Yahoo-account-for- sign-in policy.
I’m leaving the comments open on this post. Please add links if you know of any more resources!