Accessible Information Standard Myth Buster

13 Myths of the Accessible Information Standard

Download NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard Myth Buster (powerpoint) to bust the below myths..

Myth #1 “If someone can’t read a letter because they’re blind, there’s no point sending them an email or a text message!”

Reality #1

  • A person who is blind may be able to access information sent via email and / or text message but not in a printed letter.
  • Many people who are blind or have visual loss use assistive technology such as ‘screen readers’ which convert text to speech or audio. This means that email and text message (and in some circumstances a letter sent as an email attachment), can be accessible formats for some people who are blind or have visual loss.
  • However, some people who are blind, especially older people who are more likely to be digitally excluded, will not be able to use email or text message, and so accessibility cannot be assumed.
  • The answer? Don’t make any assumptions – always ask people what formats and communication methods work for them – you might be surprised!

Myth #2 “Everyone with a learning disability will need support from a carer or family member at appointments.”

Reality #2

  • It should not be assumed or expected that a person with a learning disability will be, or will need to be, ‘accompanied’ at appointments.
  • Although everyone with a learning disability is likely to need some support to access information and communicate effectively, the type of support needed by individuals varies significantly.
  • Many individuals with a mild or moderate learning disability may be able to live and access services independently.
  • In line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, everyone should be supported to be involved in decision making as much as they are able.
  • Some people with a learning disability will need support from an advocate at appointments.

Download NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard Myth Buster (powerpoint)

Useful resources:

  • HERO docs (Healthcare Easy Read Online), developed with NHS Englands’ AIS team and other leading providers
  • Word-Bank, automated jargon buster for health and social care websites
  • PhotoRoute, our Paralympic & Premier League way finding tool (developed from travel training concepts)
  • Animated films created with the NHS

To find out more about the Accessible Information Standard visit the NHS England website here: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/accessibleinfo/