The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asked Ecru to create an Easy Read version of their Core Quality Standards consultation document and the final Core Quality Standards policy document. The Crown Prosecution Service are committed to making sure that consultation documents are accessible to everyone whatever their ability. As part of this commitment they asked us to make the whole consultation document available in an easy read version rather than a simple summary.
We were delighted to be involved with such an exciting project, as a company we are committed to ensuring that information is accessible and beautifully presented. Our experience producing easy read text along with a committed team that includes talented people with a variety of disabilities put us in a unique position to fulfil this brief. We jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate that even complex legal information can be presented in a plain English; easy read format that enhances everyone's ability to understand the information presented not just people with disabilities. Part of the joy of this challenge was the difficulty of preserving the legal integrity of the text.
The production of the easy read version of the Core Quality Standards consultation set a new standard for CPS easy read documents, as HTML web pages allow people with a wider range of disabilities to access the information published, and by creating an easy read document in this format the CPS increased its potential audience.
Because of the print style sheet, HTML pages can be printed in a way that conveys information and attempts reduce wasted printer ink. Previous PDF easy read documents produced for the CPS have been excessively long – over 50 pages – creating a real burden for disabled people who might want to print them. HTML easy read pages can be read on screen and individual sections can be printed as necessary (in black and white) reducing the print costs both to the CPS and the end user.
When creating the CQS easy read pages we approached a range of disability charities and organisations to ensure that we conformed to best practice, and after delivery we started a review process with the same organisations. The comments received were discussed with the CPS and changes were implemented. Organisations consulted included Mencap, SAFE, National Autistic society and The British Dyslexia association.
The easy read version of the core quality standards was very well received both within and outside the CPS; many people commented that they had a better understanding of the standards after reading it, regardless of their ability level.
Many thanks for your hard work in completing the easy read version. I was very pleased that it was possible to produce a version which was genuinely easy to read while maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the original document.
Performance and Delivery Unit, Crown Prosecution Service
Communication is enhanced in the easy read version of the Core Quality Standards by a mixture of Plain English, and images which aid the understanding of more complex ideas.
Better than W3C Priority AA means we have maximised the ability of disabled people to access information.
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