News Word-Bank

Word-Bank NHS licensing offer

NHS London have purchased 70 Word-Bank licenses to ensure  health websites (including Clinical Commissioning Groups) reach the widest possible audience.

  • The average reading age in the UK is equivalent to an educated 11 year old (BBC)
  • 12 million working age adults have the literacy skills expected of a primary school child (Public Accounts Committee)
  • In London there are 21,000 people known to Local Authorities to have a learning disability, though the likely true number is estimated to be 157,932 (Emmerson 2011)

BBC Innovation Lab awarded software for our technological approach that:

  •  Is easy to integrate and not putting load onto client websites
  • Adds depth to content for those who would otherwise fall through the gaps

About Word-Bank (demo page)

The concept was developed in 2006 with the RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind), SEN students and the late David Morris.
In 2007 the Disability Rights Commission independently user-tested Word-Bank, proving the system aided website comprehension by 100%.

Definitions are designed to enable individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism to participate online and is inclusive for:

  • People speaking English as a second language
  • People with poor literacy skills
  • Employees with limited basic skills
  • Young people and adults in education
  • People new to words specific to an industry or subject, like health terms

Major benefits for website readers

  • Not being forced to reference external pages or websites
  • Not losing their place or getting distracted with other website information
  • Receiving clear, correct and consistent information
  • Able to work independently (or with reduced need for external support)

How it works

Website managers

  1. Create an account, set up their branding and add linking code to their website
  2. Easily subscribe to quality controlled definition libraries
  3. Option to edit definitions locally

Website viewers

  1. Website readers select Word-Bank’s on/off button to add hyperlinks to difficult language throughout the website.
  2. The viewer selects a Word-Bank hyperlink for a custom popup containing an easy-read definition with optional audio and Word-Bank logosupporting animation.

Need more information, go to’s

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