Easy News, the world’s first easy read magazine, has published a special edition focused on the Budget, an announcement from Government of the economy and spending policy. The Budget is an important announcement - but one that can be difficult to understand.

Launched over two years ago by disability charity United Response, Easy News aims to inform people with learning disabilities about what is happening in the world and how politics affects our lives. The bi-monthly publication offers easy read translations of a range of news stories using plain language and accompanying images.

The Chancellor’s Budget is a hugely important part of British politics but is one of the most complicated and difficult to understand. So, the team behind Easy News has worked to summarise the key points of the Budget announcement in this special edition.

Available in PDF format on United Response’s website, the Budget special outlines the reduction of the deficit, the introduction of the National Living Wage and changes to tax credits, plus much more.

This special edition, like every issue of Easy News, is translated by UR Consultants, a group of people with learning disabilities and autism supported by United Response, who attended an editorial meeting to discuss the most important parts of the announcement and use easy words and relevant pictures and symbols to accompany the text.

In the past, the team have created special editions focusing on the European elections and on the political parties’ manifestos ahead of the General Election, which highlighted the work of the charity’s Every Vote Counts campaign.

Every Vote Counts, designed to make politics more accessible to the 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK, sought to highlight the importance of including those with learning disabilities in national debate to empower them to learn more about the democratic process and how it affects our everyday lives.

As part of the campaign, the charity published a set of easy read resources to explain the voting process and how politics works, and also produced a dedicated easy read website that provided advice to supporters and politicians on how to ensure that people with learning disabilities are given the opportunity to learn more about politics.

Results from a survey published this week of people supported by the charity show that 43 per cent of people with learning disabilities voted at the General Election in May – a 10 per cent increase on the numbers that voted in 2010.

71 per cent of the survey respondents found the easy read booklets helpful with a further 33 per cent visiting the Every Vote Counts website.

One survey respondent added:

“I had lots of information and encouragement from the Every Vote Counts resources and enjoyed voting at the polling station.”

The survey also revealed the extent to which the campaign has reached out to new voters, with some 31 per cent voting for the first time, with only 14 per cent stating that this was due to age.

Diane Lightfoot, Director of Policy and Communications at United Response, said:

“We know that readers of Easy News are becoming increasingly interested in the finer details of politics and so we wanted to publish a special edition that gave them all the main points from George Osborne’s Budget.

“The information is, as ever, presented in an unbiased way using an accessible format. We know that disabled people are disproportionately affected by spending policy changes and we want to present our readers with a jargon-free summary to help them learn more about what these changes are and what they mean.”


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