Following a successful launch in England earlier this year, we are delighted to be launching Easy News – the UK’s first newspaper designed for people with learning disabilities - in Scotland on Friday 26th April.

Our guest of honour at the informal launch will be Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, who came along to the Westminster launch and offered to help us to spread the word in Scotland.

The launch will take place at 1.30pm at the Inspire Café in Aberdeen - we are proud to be partnering with Inspire and the Scottish Consortium For Learning Disabilities. The event will feature Dame Anne talking about why she supports the project and discussing the newspaper with local people with learning disabilities, the people the newspaper is particularly designed for. 

Dame Anne said: “I was very impressed when I attended the launch of Easy News in the House of Commons so I was keen that it should be available in Scotland too.  I’m particularly delighted that the Scottish launch is happening in Aberdeen. Not having access to news in a format which you can understand can make you feel left out of what is happening in the world. I hope that as many people as possible in Aberdeen will benefit from this newspaper.”

Easy News is designed to tackle the “information gap” facing many people with learning disabilities. United Response’s own research revealed last year that only 11% of people with learning disabilities read newspapers, usually because they are deterred by the complexity of the language.

Partly as a result, just 16% of people with learning disabilities said they were interested in politics, and over half didn’t feel that politics actually had an impact on their daily lives. Easy News is designed to change that, with 58% of respondents saying that they would be interested in reading an accessible newspaper with simple language and strong visual images to help people understand. 

The newspaper is translated into “easy read” by UR Consultants, a team of people with learning disabilities. One of the consultants is Nick Smith, from Manchester. He says “I like to stay informed. I watch the news two or three times a day, I like to see if anything’s changed. But I know some people who can’t keep up with things because they can’t read. I hope people like that will think Easy News is good, that it helps. The news is important for everybody.”

Easy News will be produced every other month and will be available in paper, downloadable PDF and audio versions. The second edition, the first to be launched in Scotland, covers the horsemeat scandal, the Oscar Pistorius court case, a new report into disability benefits, the long winter and the EU referendum, amongst other topics.