Accessing clear communication is an essential part of being included in our community. We all need to be able to understand information from government, businesses, health services and so many more. Making information accessible is at the heart of what we do, and we were thrilled to be recognised at the 2019 Clear Communication Awards.
Announced on 25 September, these awards recognise excellence in clear communication across Australia. Judges review digital and print examples that combine excellence in design, communication principles and plain language to make it as easy as possible for the user to understand the information they need.
We are incredibly proud of our winning project, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) Easy English Voting Guides, which came first in the Easy English category. There are three guides in total – How to enrol to vote, How to vote at a polling place and How to vote by mail. The aim of these guides was to make sure that people with disability had the information they needed to take part in the 2019 Federal Election. In addition to this award, we also received encouraging feedback from a Clear Communication Awards judge who said: “Frankly, the ability to explain the Senate ballot in plain and Easy English is impressive.”
We also submitted two other Easy English projects for the awards, which were both finalists in the Easy English category. This included a project we developed with the Australian Government Department of Social Services as part of a joint government communications campaign to reduce violence against women. The ‘Let’s stop it at the start’ campaign aims to help parents, family members, teachers, coaches, employers and other role models to look at their own attitudes, and start a conversation about respect with the young people in their lives. To assist with this, we developed an Easy English guide that is designed to help parents have conversations with young people about respect. The conversation guide, Having Conversations with Young People About Respect, includes background to the issues, suggested topics they can talk about, questions and opening lines, and tips on how to keep the conversation going.
The other finalist in the Easy English category is the Disability Safe Week website that we developed with People With disabilities Western Australia. The Disability Safe Week campaign aims to educate people with disability, and the wider community, about ways to recognise and stop the abuse that people with disability experience. The Easy English website offers a comprehensive suite of resources on how to identify abuse and get help, all delivered in a way that suits the needs of people with intellectual disability who, as a group, are highly vulnerable to abuse.