University of Leeds: Research for People with Learning Difficulties
Accessible design to encourage adults with learning difficulties into academic research
The University of Leeds set out on a unique initiative to encourage diversification in research. Recognising the value that adults with learning difficulties can bring, the University wanted to reach out to those with learning difficulties to bring them into academic research and to support wider collaboration between researchers with learning difficulties. They asked us to help by creating a series of flyers that presented research outcomes and promoted collaboration in an accessible way, targeting this audience with very particular needs.
Accessibility was a top priority from the outset and given the target audience, we knew that some might struggle read the information on the flyers. We collaborated with the team at the University who are working directly with learning disabled people to reduce copy to a minimum. We rooted out the academic terminology and focused on illustration as the key to communicating successfully. The characters were created in house, aiming for clarity and diversity, without appearing childish. Effectively, each of the flyers became a visual representation of the messaging provided — which was quite a challenge as some of the concepts were not easy to translate into illustration. 'Exchange of perspectives and expertise' for example.