I love libraries, my favourite place in London is the British Library. I spent many hours, days and months sitting in the reading room pouring over books and journals. Studying public policy making made me acutely aware of the power of words and information. Control the way something is talked about and you control resources and solutions.
In 2007 I started working with a person who was very isolated, he hadn’t left his house for more than 9 years, he was a selective mute and later diagnosed with autism. Reading ‘Easy Read’ guides quickly became one of our favourite things to do. We preferred the shorter guides – I liked that there were less words to read and I think he liked that he didn’t have to pay attention or listen to me read for a long time. As once we started a guide, he wanted me to point and read every word, as it was printed on every page, until it was finished. But we read all sorts, anything we could get our hands on.
The more we read, the more we understood what worked and what didn’t work. We started adapting, improving and writing our own versions. I improved my knowledge by collaborating closely with Speech & Language Therapist’s and Behavioural Therapist’s to create a system that helped me create accessible resources for individuals and the general public.
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