New ‘Easy Read’ mobile phone guide for people with learning disabilities

ofcomOfcom today published a guide to using a mobile phone, designed to be easily understood by people with learning disabilities.

Ofcom is the first UK regulatory body to publish consumer advice in the ‘Easy Read’ format, which makes information more accessible to people with learning disabilities.

Easy Read presents information in a clear and simple way and uses pictures to support the meaning of the text. It can also be helpful for those with a limited knowledge of the English language.

The guide was produced in partnership with a specialist Easy Read agency and meets current European and UK Government standards for making written information easily understandable.

Helping people with learning difficulties

The Easy Read guide offers advice to people with learning difficulties on how to get the most out of their mobile phone and on how much it could cost. It gives useful information on:

  • the different types of mobile phone handsets available;
  • the costs of mobile phone calls and ways to pay;
  • free services available for disabled customers; and
  • how to complain when things go wrong.

Ofcom has printed 5,000 copies of the guide and is sending them to every social services director in the UK. Ofcom has also secured support from organisations including Mencap and the National Autistic Society for help with distributing the guide to those people who will benefit most.

Ofcom can also provide any of its published documents (including this Easy Read guide) in Braille or large print upon request. All publications on Ofcom’s website can also be read in audio format using a screen reader.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “Our new Easy Read guide will help ensure that people with learning disabilities are able to better understand how to get the most out of their mobile phone, the associated costs and what they can do if things go wrong.

“Ofcom takes its duty to have regard to the needs of disabled people very seriously. We expect this guide to be the first in a series to ensure Ofcom’s consumer advice and information about communications services is accessible for all.”

Ismail Kaji, Parliamentary Assistant at Mencap, who has a learning disability, said: “Ofcom’s easy read guide to using a mobile phone is really useful to people with learning disabilities.

“It explains all about choosing and using a mobile phone and helps us to understand clearly. Information from phone companies can be very hard to understand because they use difficult words. It is good that Ofcom is setting an example.”

Ofcom’s Easy Read guide to using your mobile phone is now available to download from the Ofcom website.

For further information about Ofcom please visit: www.ofcom.org.uk.

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