Easy News launches

I was interested to see that United Response launched an Easy Read 'newspaper', "Easy News" with the support of the National Lottery at the House of Commons on Wednesday 24 January.

It's a big step in the right direction for the Easy Read and learning disability community.

And although I don't want to sound too critical, when I downloaded "Easy News" my initial impression was: "The look and feel is brochure, not newspaper."

Everyone is familiar with the layout of newspapers and although, in an Easy Read context, newspaper font is very small, the designer could have gone for a slightly more newsy, even tabloid-y look than a colouful version of the standard Easy Read layout.

An important consideration and differentiator when Easy Read News is being displayed alongside other Easy Read documents.

New approaches require new paradigms

And as our news is being increasingly being delivered online, particularly via tablet computers, and as tablets are being used increasingly by people with learning disabilities, the move towards a tablet-friendly Easy Read is surely the next step.

I had a twitter conversation with Pete from PhotoSymbols, whose images were rightly being used for "Easy News", and he concurred on both observations, though pointed out that the development of Easy Read for a tablet platform would require a considerable amount of investment.

True. But I'm confident that there are collaborative ways to do this by adapting existing 'open source' software that could help us achieve "Easy Read for the 21st Century" in time.