As changes to benefit, such as Housing Benefit and Disability Living Allowance, have been rolled out across the country, many disabled people have become worried about what impact this will have on their daily lives.

In many cases, those changes have made things worse, as living costs increase at the same time as income is decreasing for people with disabilities.

United Response believes that those with disabilities should be included in the public and political sphere, though lots of people with learning disabilities are often excluded from debates around policy changes which directly affect them.  This is because information is often presented in complex language which is too difficult for people to understand.

This is why we were delighted when Just Fair approached us to create an easy read version of their latest report Dignity and Opportunity for All, which discusses the importance of considering the rights of disabled people during times of austerity.

Jane Young, disability adviser and consultant who specialises in disability equality, penned the report and presented it in conjunction with Just Fair at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, alongside Baroness Jane Campbell and Kate Green MP.

Commenting on its importance, Young explained: “We have to research everything in more detail than ever in order for our points to be considered [by Government] and everything needs to be rooted in evidence.

“I was determined to make the report objective and nonpartisan given the strong reactions to welfare reform. Independent living is a strong theme and [I feel] independent living means being able to contribute, participate and be included."

Providing an easy read summary of the report allows people to access the necessary information to make an informed choice and talk to politicians and policy makers if they so choose.

This was the thinking behind Easy News, an easy read news magazine using simple words and images to illustrate top news stories, allowing people to access news and make an informed choice on issues that affect them, including voting.

Easy News is translated by UR Consultants, a group of people we support with learning disabilities who read news stories and rewrite them in a simplified and illustrated format.

The consultants were heavily involved in the translation of the report, which ensures that people with learning disabilities can read the information and make their own decisions about the report’s findings.

UR Consultants hope that their work encourages policy makers to consider inclusion when sharing information that affects disabled people and their families.

You can download an easy read version of the Dignity and Opportunity for All report.

Find out more about Easy News or, to arrange a translation of a document into easy read format, contact Ali Bishop at [email protected]


Gemma Taylor, media assistant