28 November 2022
How A2i create Easy Read documents
How A2i create Easy Read documents
By Amelia Ling
As A2i’s newest Easy Read transcriber, I feel as though I’m just starting to get to grips with the process of creating Easy Read documents. In six short months, I have already helped to create documents for disability charities, educational institutions, and national bodies such as the NHS. It has become clear that many organisations know how important Easy Read is for people with learning disabilities, but not many know how it’s created.
A2i’s transcription team have 8 key steps to make sure every document we create is our best and accessible to people with learning disabilities. We want to share them with you.
Step 1: Read
Firstly, we will read your original document and accompanying brief. We use our brief to ask you questions about the tone and purpose of your document, who your target audience is, and if there are any specific words you would like explained. This last part can be really useful, especially if your document is for someone with a severe learning disability. The brief also allows us to communicate with you, and our clients, and for you to shape your document or tell us anything you’d definitely like us to include.
Step 2: Information
We will then decide what information in your document is most important for your readers. Too much information can be overwhelming and distract from what someone with learning disabilities is being asked to do or think about. You can be sure that your original document won’t get lost in transcription; we aim for our Easy Read documents to be as close to your original as possible.
Step 3: Look and Structure
We then create an outline of how we want your Easy Read document to look. This includes where information will go and what the headings will be for each section. We sometimes change the reading order of your original document if we think it would be helpful for someone with a learning disability to know which information they should read first.
Step 4: Create my first sentences.
When we start to write the text for your document we make sure each sentence is clear, has one main subject, and is ready to simplify later on. We don’t need to make every sentence super simple or ‘Easy Read’ friendly just yet. We will get rid of any abbreviations and start to define any complicated words.
Step 5: Easy Read.
This is when we carefully go back over our first draft to make sure every sentence is up to Easy Read standards. We follow a set of guidelines that help us make our documents as accessible as possible. Step 5 is also when we look at the design of our documents, everything from the colour scheme and fonts to image selection and logos. It’s a creative step that can be a lot of fun; we get to talk to our clients about their company’s branding and how we can represent this in our work.
Step 6: Internal consultation
Once we are completely happy with our document, we will hand it over to another transcriber who will proof our document. This collaborative step is a great failsafe; ideas and advice are shared, and any changes that could be made are spotted.
Step 7: Accessible and editable pdfs
Many of our clients want their documents to be made fully accessible or editable so more people can read and use them.
Accessible documents allow people who are blind or visually impaired to use assistive technology, such as screen readers, to read your document. We also consider things like the accessibility of links and the colour contrast of your documents.
PDF’s can also be made editable. This feature is useful for interactive documents such as surveys and forms. If your PDF is editable people can fill in your form online, rather than having to print it off and send a paper copy.
Step 8: We send you your Easy Read document!
Note: A2i now offer Easy Read videos too – these are great for people with a learning difficulty who understand words and language, but struggle to read.
For more information about A2i’s Easy Read service, or a quote, just get in touch with A2i’s friendly team at