Australian Electoral Commission Easy Read Guides
In anticipation of the 2019 federal election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) decided to update three of its easy-to-read-guides:
- How to enrol to vote
- How to vote at a polling place
- How to vote by mail.
The AEC wanted to update the guides to ensure that the target audiences – people with disability, adults with low levels of literacy and people who speak English as a second language – have the information that they need to successfully take part in the next federal election.
- enrol as a voter prior to the election
- vote in the election at a polling place on election day
- become a postal voter and vote by mail.
These guides won the 2019 Clear Communication Awards – Easy English category.
You can find all three guides on the AEC website.
Easy Read is sometimes called Easy English or simple English.
Easy Read is information that is presented in a way that is very easy to understand. In its simplest form, it uses images to support text, large font sizes and plenty of white space. Easy Read is currently used extensively for audiences with disability. However, it is also becoming more widely used for audiences with low literacy levels, in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or where English is an additional language.
Easy Read content can be used on any type of publication, from a marketing booklet, to a website, to an extensive report. To date, we have worked on everything from consultation papers to consent forms, policies and procedures, surveys and even legislation.
If it’s right for your audience, we can also produce material in plain language. Our team of experienced editors work with you to make sure the content meets the needs of the people it’s intended for.
Watch this fun video that explains the benefits of Easy Read for various audiences.
An example of our work in this area
Frequently asked questions about Easy Read conversions
What is the process for quoting?
Usually, we ask that our clients send us a draft of the document before we quote. That way, we can assess the complexity of the material before we begin. It's important to remember that an Easy Read conversion is not a word-for-word translation. This means that we can work from draft content if your timeframes are tight.
How long does a conversion take?
The length of the process will vary according to the length of your document. At the Information Access Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to turn document conversions around very quickly and meet the needs of our clients, who are often under tight deadline pressure. When considering undertaking an Easy Read conversion, we encourage you to aim for publishing an Easy Read version at the same time as the mainstream document.
What images do we use?
We use photographs and custom images in Easy Read publications. We don’t use Boardmaker. We create images for our clients and we also have access to a wide range of photographs, including a beautiful range of photos that is exclusive to the Information Access Group.
Does the Information Access Group create accessible files for web publishing?
Many of the documents that we produce are printed professionally, while many others are published online. At the end of the conversion process, we can provide files that are suitable and accessible for web publishing. The files will pass all aspects of automated testing, plus they are checked to ensure that they read well with a screen reader.
Can we test your materials with a focus group?
We regularly test materials with different audience groups to make sure that the content meets the needs of the people it is intended for. We specialise in testing materials with people with intellectual disability.