Easy read resources on mental health services
People with an intellectual disability can experience communication difficulties, and these difficulties have been identified as a barrier to accessing and participating in health care. Accessible health-related information is important for supporting the best health outcomes for people with an intellectual disability.
The provision of ‘easy read’ or ‘easy English’ information is advocated as an important form of accessibility. Easy read materials adapt standard information into a briefer copy, which contains only the main points of information as well as pictures to assist with comprehension of the text. While there is a great deal of support from disability advocates, there is little consistent evidence about the design and effectiveness of easy read material. Easy read health information is becoming more readily available. However, there is a lack of research that explores what accessible health, and in particular mental health, information people with an intellectual disability require across their health journey, and how this information should be presented. Our scoping research found gaps in the provision of accessible information about navigating the mental health sector within New South Wales.
As such this project aimed to consult with people with and intellectual disability and their family members and support networks about:
- The accessibility of health-related information for people with an intellectual disability across their health journey, and
- The types of mental health resources that need to be developed and implemented to promote access and participation in the health care system.
Through a co-design approach, a series of easy read resources were developed providing information around navigating mental health services in NSW.
Prof Julian Trollor, Dr Janelle Weise, Dr Bronwyn Newman, Ms Claire Eagleson, 3DN UNSW Sydney
Prof Karen Fisher, Social Policy Research Centre UNSW Sydney