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Plain2013 Democracy Engagement C Basterfield M Starford

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Plain Language for Democracy and Citizen Engagement
Cathy Basterfield, Access Easy English, Australia
Mark Starford, Board Resource Centre, US

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine
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Plain2013 Democracy Engagement C Basterfield M Starford

  1. 1. Plain Language for Democracy and Citizenship Cathy Basterfield Access Easy English, Australia Mark Starford Board Resource Center, USA
  2. 2. Our Presentation Basic Rights Literacy Data Case Stories Challenges Strategies Increased • Life quality • Participation Healthcare Finances Engagement
  3. 3. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) United Nations Treaty, 2006 Key Principles • • • • Equal opportunity Full participation and inclusion in society Disability accepted as a part of human diversity Accessibility (community, information)
  4. 4. CRPD Key Articles Article 9 – Accessibility • Greater access to community life • Public information in easy read format and Braille • Access to technology • Qualified support to get important information
  5. 5. CRPD Key Articles Article 12 – Equal recognition under the law • Abuse prevention • Own or inherit property • Control financial affairs • Legal safeguards
  6. 6. CRPD Key Articles Article 29 – Participation in political life • Voting procedures and facilities accessible • Materials easy to understand and use • Secret ballot with support • Hold office
  7. 7. Living the Treaty Article 9: Access to information and technology Article 7: Children treated equally Article 12: Same rights under the law Article 19: Being part of the community Article 11: Protection in risky situations Article 27: Work, equal job rights and pay
  8. 8. Who are we talking about? Australia Channel 7, Melbourne Australia June 5, 2013 http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/17489370/adult-illiteracy/ United States American Illiteracy YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LghnA2XbuU
  9. 9. Australia and USA literacy data 2006 and 2013 60 50 40 30 non functional literacy functional literacy 20 % adults 15-74 yrs. 10 0 Australia 2006 Australia 2013 USA 2006 USA 2013
  10. 10. Literacy data from OECD countries 2006 80 70 60 50 40 30 % adults 15-74 yrs 20 10 0 non functional literacy functional literacy
  11. 11. Snapshot
  12. 12. Data Reveals More likely to:  Live in poverty, underemployed  Have poor health  Be involved in the justice system  Be less engaged in community life
  13. 13. Who are we talking about? People:  Seniors  Diverse cultural backgrounds  Poor educational outcomes  Acquired and lifelong disabilities  Hearing impaired community  Mental and physical illness
  14. 14. Who are we talking about? Also people who are:  Time poor  Stressed  Caregivers  Low comprehension readers
  15. 15. About Mary Crafts & activity groups Church & activities U3A lecturer Age 65 wife, mother, grandmother Outer suburban semi-rural Mary Volunteer Committee member Massive stroke January 2012
  16. 16. About Mary  Vision  Attention and concentration  Tiredness  Reading and understanding  Medical knowledge and terminology  Understanding health related costs  Rehabilitation choices & home modifications  Initial stroke phase and later needs  Husband’s lack of medical knowledge, stressed
  17. 17. Some written materials
  18. 18. Useful
  19. 19. Our dream for Mary New life together Expectations and changes Emergency information $$ Financial information Information for husband – now the carer Now & Later Leisure access options Rehabilitation choices and options New medical status and risks Exercise and rehab program
  20. 20. About Karen Supportive extended family Age 45 single mother Lives alone Support: 4 hours week Karen No use of technology Mild intellectual and other disabilities
  21. 21. About Karen  Limited education  General knowledge limited to life experience  Functional reading (bills, simple recipes)  Limited community connections  Support required to use government services
  22. 22. Karen’s needs - some Health information  Preventative and medicines Government Entitlements  Housing, pension, child support Employment Resources Civic participation  Voting and community engagement  Leisure activities  Financial management  General knowledge
  23. 23. Some needs are met ...Medical Preventative information Consent forms
  24. 24. 0 Some needs are met ...Government Dad and Partner pay brochure But lots of reports......
  25. 25. 0 Some needs are met ...Employment Safety at work
  26. 26. 0 Some needs are met ...Civic participation Victorian Election 2012 Survey Relationships
  27. 27. 0 Some needs are met ...Safety NSW police safety fact sheets Red Cross - International NSW Police
  28. 28. 0 Our dream for Karen And more Newspapers & magazines Websites Bills Now and later Future planning - money Government information Rights & laws
  29. 29. About Miguel High school Age 32 Single Activist-Advocate Miguel Bilingual Urban Lives at home
  30. 30. About Miguel      Interested in civil rights and advocacy Limited literacy in English and Spanish Mild developmental impairment Never employed – government entitlements Family provides care support
  31. 31. About Miguel  Board member - $140 million case management agency  Chair, peer advocacy council  Represents over 10,000 peers  Limited “facilitation” support for positions  Never received governance training
  32. 32. Miguel needs • Board meeting structure modified • Meeting materials adapted • Governance training • Qualified “meeting facilitation” support: before – during - after A job! •
  33. 33. Some needs are met FOR FACILITATORS Training manual FOR AGENCIES: Accessible meeting organization handbook FOR MIGUEL: Online governance training http://www.brcenter.org/BRC_Board_Training/publications.shtml
  34. 34. About Jane Fixed Income Age 52 Grandmother Activist-Advocate Jane Limited education Mental health challenges
  35. 35. About Jane  Not employed – government entitlement  Lives at the poverty level  Has significant debt - “payday loan” scheme  Hides personal financial crisis  Does not understand tax procedures and forms
  36. 36. Jane needs  Understand money and numeracy  Learn about loans, interest and terms  Understand “Payday loans”  Learn about and follow a budget  Begin future planning  Competent support staff  Professional mental health support
  37. 37. Some needs being met Support team –getting trained Money management Decision making process Mental health website Supports and services
  38. 38. Opportunities Turn to the person beside you  Think about new policies or practices that can make accessible information available to people with low literacy.
  39. 39. Opportunities Think about new policies or practices that can make accessible information available to people with low literacy. Policies Practices
  40. 40. Challenges Turn to the person beside you  Think about what are the challenges to developing documents for people with low literacy.
  41. 41. The message Plain Language for Democracy and Citizenship  The silent % of those with low literacy  Social inclusion and participation  Equal opportunity  Civic engagement
  42. 42. Cathy Basterfield Access Easy English, Australia Mark Starford Board Resource Center, USA

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