Finding out about the Victorian Government is now more accessible for all. Visiting Victoria’s Parliament House enables visitors to learn about Australia’s parliamentary system, different levels of government, Victoria and Australia’s electoral system, and how laws are made.
Recently, Scope’s Accessible Information service worked with the Tours and Customer Service Unit of the Parliament of Victoria to produce tour information in Easy English.
Anyone can benefit from documents written in Easy English. It focuses on presenting key information rather than detail, is written in a style that is simple and concise, and uses a mix of words and images to enhance the message for the reader.
Organisations will usually begin with a document that is written in a standard English format, which can be too complex for some people to read and understand. These documents might use unfamiliar words and long sentences. Then, if a need is identified, the Easy English version will follow. This was not the case, however, with the document for the Victorian Parliament. Rather than being an afterthought, the Parliament of Victoria showed great initiative, wanting to ensure that this information was made as accessible to as many people as possible, including those with limited literacy skills, an intellectual disability, tourists who had limited English or the ageing population, all of whom benefit from Easy English.
Because there was no original document to translate, it was recommended that the Easy English authors attend a tour of Parliament to gather the relevant information needed for this resource from a visitor’s point of view, The document was then written in Easy English, using the Easy English Style Guide, and consumer tested, an important step in evaluating the content of the document with the intended audience. This is a fine example of a universally designed document which is accessible to all.
So now, school students, members of the public, tourists or anyone wanting to visit the Victorian Parliament will go on tour with information that is easy to understand. For more information on the tours of Parliament House available, go to the Parliament of Victoria’s website.