Accessibility is a popular word today and it is used in many kinds of contexts. Easy to Read offers the possibility to acquire written information and knowledge in an easier language.
Easy language web sites and brochures contribute to make institutions and organisations and their messages more available to all, who need or prefer to read easier texts.
But what does accessibility mean for Easy to Read literature?
Easy language books should make reading experiences available to all. They transmit knowledge, but at the same time they motivate the reader. The books should also support the development of reading and other important skills, and encourage further reading.
Presently many kinds of readers use Easy to Read books. Some persons need Easy language literature, because ordinary books are too demanding, or because of reading difficulties, weaker eyesight and other challenges. Others need Easy books for some period, just to start reading.
An increasing group of readers prefer Easy books, as the books offer compact, logical and clear stories. Also seasoned readers use Easy books to quickly obtain a general idea of a subject or a current question.
Accessible for everybody?
Easy language increases the accessibility of a text in many ways. Still, more political and economic action must be taken to really make Easy to Read literature available for everyone. The need for Easy language texts is growing parallel with the increasing use of technology for reading and writing.
In order for everyone to get the chance to participate in society, much more Easy language information is needed and also a lot more Easy to Read books on many and various topics.
Multicultural literature and Easy books in several languages are needed to include and support the integration of migrants, multilingual and multicultural persons into society.
Easy language websites are often free of charge, but books come at a price. Does this mean that in fact Easy literature is not available for all? Does the financial situation decide who can read Easy books?
Libraries can bridge the economic gap and offer Easy literature for readers. Many publishers have created free materials for their books. Several of them publish chapters or even whole books free of charge on the Internet. But new forms of support must be developed, if we want the books to be completely free.
The amount of Easy readers is increasing every day in all age, interest and language groups. Today much more research about Easy to Read literature is needed. Research could for instance highlight examples how Easy books support language and reading skills, pedagogy and also society.
The Bokpil team works since 2015 with developing innovative and pedagogical Easy to Read books and their accessibility.
Pedagogical Easy to Read books: Villa Bokpil
Materials and tasks; chapters: Edu Bokpil
The project LäsLätt (‘ReadEasy’) 2020 for increasing and distributing information about Easy to Read is realised by Bokpil and Colorit ry.rf. and supported by The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.