The Centre for Easy-to-Read
We have several targetgroups including the intellectually
disabled, or those suffering from autism or aphasia, people who are
dyslexic (have difficulty in reading and writing), people who are
deaf from childhood, the elderly, immigrants and school children.
We function as a resource and competence centre. We can provide
easy-to-read material or offer assistance in various questions
relating to easy-to-read material.
We publish books and a newspaper "8 PAGES" under the slogan:
"Easy to read and easy to understand".
Parliamentary and government decisions
Our operation is a cultural-political and handicap-political
venture and is based on a unanimous government decision. The
Government has drawn up our charter and appointed the Board of
directors. The Board includes politicians, representatives for
handicap organisations and people who are professionally devoted to
culture, media or marketing.
The operation is financed by income from sales and state grants.
Our finances are examined by a chartered accountant.
The aim of easy-to-read publications is to write simply and
understandably, but at the same time in an adult and varied manner,
and to use a combination of text and pictures. To achieve this we
try to take into consideration the content, language, pictures and
the graphic layout.
An easy-to-read text should have concrete content, usually with
a simple story-line. Few people and places are involved. The course
of events is usually described in chronological order, i.e. no
jumps in time such as from present to the past. Naturally the same
criteria apply to easy-to-read texts as to other texts: if the
reader considers the content to be interesting then it is easier to
read the text.
The language should also be concrete. Long, unusual words should
be avoided, as well as concepts that may have two meanings. "He is
a big actor" may mean that he is a large man or that he is
Some of our readers often understand concepts in a concrete
manner - i.e. that the actor is a large man. Neither do we use
figurative language such as "castles in Spain" in easy-to-read
texts, since such phrases can be interpreted literally. We often
choose to write two short sentences instead of using subordinate
One cannot assume that all readers are aware of places and
countries or of dates. Such information must be placed in context:
"1932 was when grandmother was young".
Pictures are important in easy-to-read texts. Concrete pictures
should illustrate clearly what a thing looks like, without
irrelevant details and strange angles. However, abstract pictures
can also be used to express atmosphere or feelings. Other criteria
apply in that case.
It is important for form and layout to be well thought through.
It is easier for the reader to absorb information if text and
pictures are presented as clearly and with as much space as
Running text written with CAPITAL LETTERS or in italics is
difficult to read. Many readers have difficulty in noticing
full-stops and in reading long lines.
An easy-to-read text is thus often written with line-feeds at
the end of each phrase. A new line starts at a natural point in the
sentence, and always after a full stop. The reader can then make a
pause at the proper place.
Over the years these rules have become more like a general
framework. They are not to be taken too literally. An author of an
easy-to-read text must - just like any author - use his or her
intuition and linguistic sense. The author must imagine and relate
to the readers / listeners in mind.
The easy-to-read publishing house (LL-förlaget)
Easy-to-read books are easy to read and easy to understand but
the degree of difficulty varies from one book to another.
Easy-to-read books attempt to combine ease of understanding with
quality. The books are produced by our own publishers,
Nearly all easy-to-read books are illustrated. The pictures make
the text easier to understand and strengthen understanding of the
We publish about 30 books every year, both books written
directly in easy-to-read and adaptations of classics. They may be
novels, short stories, detective stories, poetry anthologies,
photographic books, technical books, etc. Almost 500 books have
been published so far.
Easy-to-read books are presented in catalogues and in the
magazine, "Boktidningen Lättläst", which is published twice every
year. The books can be purchased through our mail-order shop or in
regular book shops. Easy-to-read books are also available on loan
8 PAGES - easy-to-read news
8 PAGES is a newspaper which is issued once a week. 8 PAGES
contains news from Sweden and other countries, sport, culture, etc.
- just like any other newspaper. But 8 PAGES tells what is
happening in an easy-to-understand manner.
The texts are short and there are always many pictures in the
newspaper. The type-face is larger than in other newspapers.
Over the year a number of theme supplements are also published,
giving background and explanation of important events. 8 PAGES is
also available on cd. One can also read daily news from 8 PAGES on
their internet site: http://www.8sidor.se/
8 PAGES is non-political and is not linked with any
organisation. 8 PAGES is a subscription newspaper. It is not sold
We accept commissions to produce easy-to-read versions of
governmental committee publications and other material for public
authorities, organisations and anyone else needing to have texts
adapted. We can take care of editorial work as well as production
The Centre for Easy-to-Read offers short courses in and about
easy-to-read. Twice every year we arrange courses for different
professional groups. If there is sufficient interest we can also
offer these courses at other times. Information about the courses
can be ordered from the Easy-to-Read Foundation.
Marketing newspapers and books to handicapped people and other
with major reading difficulties is a time-consuming task. They
themselves do not seek information and are not used to the idea of
newspapers and books being something for them. Neither do relatives
and staff always recognize the need of news and literature for
people who can hardly read themselves.
First of all attitudes must be influenced. An interest in
reading must be awakened. We have therefore created a system of
reading representatives. These representatives are primarily
recruited among staff in group housing and at day care centres.
The task of the reading representatives is to stimulate interest
in reading, arrange reading periods with reading aloud, visits to
Information and marketing
Information and marketing are an important part of our
assignment. We try to reach our target groups in various ways. We
often use intermediaries. Important intermediaries are teachers,
librarians, relatives and staff working with people who have
All our products are on show in a permanent exhibition in our
Stockholm office. Anyone interested is welcome to book a time to