The Centre for Easy-to-Read
We have several target groups including persons with
intellectual disabilities, those suffering from dementia, autism or
aphasia, people who are dyslexic or are having other reasons for
their difficulty in reading and writing, people who are deaf from
childhood, the elderly, immigrants, school children and reluctant
readers in general. We function as a resource and competence
centre. We can provide easy-to-read material or offer assistance in
various questions relating to easy-to-read material.
We publish books and a newspaper "8 PAGES" under the slogan:
Parliamentary and governmental decisions
Our operation is a cultural-political and disability-political
venture and is based on a unanimous government decision. The
Government has drawn up our charter and appointed the board of
directors. The board includes politicians, representatives of
disability organizations and people who are professionally devoted
to culture, media or marketing.
The operation is financed by income from sales and state grants.
Our finances are examined by a chartered accountant.
The aim of easy-to-read publications is to write simply and
understandably, but at the same time in an adult and varied manner,
and to use a combination of text and pictures. To achieve this we
try to take into consideration content, language, pictures and
An easy-to-read text should have concrete content, usually with
a simple story-line. Few people and places are involved. The course
of events is usually described in chronological order, i.e. no
jumps in time such as from present to past. Naturally the same
criteria apply to easy-to-read texts as to other texts: if the
reader considers the content to be interesting then it is easier to
read the text. Also, if the reader has previous knowledge of the
subject, the text will be easier to understand, and the reader may
be able to read a more difficult level of language than
The language should also be concrete. Long, unusual words should
be avoided, as well as expressions that may have two meanings. "He
is a big actor" may mean that he is a large man or that he is
well-known. Some of our readers often understand expressions in a
concrete manner - i.e. that the actor is a large man. Neither do we
use figurative language such as "castles in Spain" in easy-to-read
texts, since such phrases can be interpreted literally.
We often choose to write two short sentences instead of using
subordinate clauses. However, best practice has shown that a
mixture of short and a bit longer sentences is the most
easy-to-read. Too many very short sentences make the language more
difficult, mainly because of the lack of causal relations that will
often be the case. An example: It was raining. He stayed inside. He
was happy. He read a book. Or: It was raining so he stayed inside
and was happy reading a book. The latter may be easier to
One cannot assume that all readers are aware of places and
countries or of dates and figures.
In the country Saudi Arabia women are forbidden to drive a
About 100 thousand households were without electricity for many
Pictures are important in the easy-to-read concept. Concrete
pictures should illustrate clearly what a thing looks like, without
irrelevant details and strange angles. However, abstract pictures
can also be used to express atmosphere or feelings. Other criteria
apply in that case.
It is important for form and layout to be well thought-out. It
is easier for the reader to absorb information if text and pictures
are presented clearly and with much space.
Running text written with CAPITAL LETTERS or in italics
is difficult to read. Many readers have difficulty in noticing
full-stops and in reading long lines.
An easy-to-read text is thus often written with line-feeds at the
end of each phrase. A new line starts at a natural point in the
sentence, and always after a full stop. The reader can then make a
pause at the proper place.
Over the years these rules have become more like a general
framework. They are not to be taken too literally. An author of an
easy-to-read text must - just like any author - use his or her
intuition and linguistic sense. The author must imagine and relate
to the readers / listeners in mind.
The easy-to-read publishing house (LL-förlaget)
Easy-to-read books are easy to read and easy to understand but
the degree of difficulty varies from one book to another.
Easy-to-read books attempt to combine ease of understanding with
quality. The books are produced by our own publishers,
Many easy-to-read books are illustrated. The pictures make the
text easier to understand and strengthen the understanding of the
About 25 books are published every year, both books written
directly in easy-to-read and adaptations of classics. They may be
novels, short stories, detective stories, poetry anthologies,
photographic books, technical books, etc. Just over 1 000 books
have been published so far.
Easy-to-read books are presented in the magazine, "Boktidningen
Lättläst", which is published twice a year. The books can be
purchased through our mail-order shop, through online bookshops or
in regular bookshops. Easy-to-read books are also available on loan
8 PAGES - easy-to-read news
8 PAGES is a newspaper which is issued once a week. 8 PAGES
contains news from Sweden and other countries, sport, culture, etc.
- just like any other newspaper. But 8 PAGES tells what is
happening in an easy-to-understand manner. The texts are short and
there are always many pictures in the newspaper. The type-face is
larger than in other newspapers.
One can also read daily news from 8 PAGES on their internet
site: http://www.8sidor.se/ The
site is updated every weekday.
8 PAGES is a subscription newspaper. It is not sold separately. One
can subscribe to a reading of the paper and the articles of the web
newspaper are also presented in readings on the site. 8 PAGES is
non-political and is not linked to any organization.
The Easy-to-Read Commission Service accepts commissions to
produce easy-to-read versions of governmental committee
publications and other material for public authorities,
organizations and for anyone else needing to have texts adapted.
The Commission Service can take care of editorial work as well as
production and distribution.
The Easy-to-Read Commission Service offers short courses in and
about easy-to-read. Twice every year courses are arranged for
different professional groups. If there is sufficient interest
these courses can be offered at other times. Information about the
courses can be ordered from the Commission Service.
Marketing newspapers and books to people with disabilities and
others with major reading difficulties is a time-consuming task.
They themselves do not seek information and are not used to the
idea of newspapers and books being something for them. Neither do
relatives nor staff always recognize the need of news and
literature for people who can hardly read themselves.
First of all attitudes must be influenced. An interest in
reading must be awakened. The Centre for Easy-to-Read has therefore
created a system of reading representatives. These representatives
are primarily recruited among staff in supported housing, at day
centres and in homes for the elderly.
The tasks of the reading representatives are to stimulate
interest in reading, to arrange reading periods with reading aloud,
to collaborate with the librarians and to arrange visits to
In the project "Reading Power" volunteers and next-of-kin have
been inspired and educated to read aloud to people with dementia at
care homes and day centres for people with dementia and also for
those who are still living at home. This takes part in
collaboration with reading representatives among the staff.
Information and marketing
Information and marketing are important parts of our assignment.
It is necessary to try to reach the target groups in various ways.
Often intermediaries are used. Important intermediaries are
teachers, librarians, relatives and staff working with people who
have functional disabilities.
All our products are on show at a permanent exhibition in our
Stockholm office. Anyone interested is welcome to book a time to
Centrum för lättläst | Långholmsgatan 27 | Box 9145 | 102 72
Telefon: 08-640 70 90 | Telefax: 08-642 76 00 | E-post: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Centre for Easy-to-Read is working for all people's right to
access to news, information and literature appropriate to their
needs and abilities.