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Easy Language and beyond: How to maximize the accessibility of communication

  • Accessible communication is easy to find, easy to perceive, easy to understand and is related to the previous knowledge of the recipients. Target groups may have special communication needs necessitated by sensory, cognitive or psychological impairment, low education or critical life events such as illness, loss of reference persons or forced migration. When texts fail to address the needs of these target groups, they become barriers to successful interaction: sensory and cognitive barriers, media and culture barriers, language or specialized language barriers or even motoric barriers. Accessible communication comprises all measures to prevent texts (oral or written) from becoming a barrier for the intended target groups. This is a broad field of action that comprises, but goes way beyond Easy and Plain Language: A text could be written in Easy Language but the intended users have no access to it; a text may not be well perceived and therefore not understood; a text may be accessible online, but directed to users with different media preferences; a text may be easy to perceive and understand but not acceptable with respect to the politeness requirements of the users. What good are such texts to the target audience? This paper, that was held as Plenary Speech on the 2019 Klaara Network conference, focuses on Easy Language and Accessible Communication in Germany and discusses communication barriers and the conditions of communicative accessibility for people with diverse needs in the light of the following questions: What road have we travelled thus far? Where are we right now? Have we really covered all necessary aspects of accessibility? Where do we go from here?

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Author:Christiane Maaß
Place of publication:Hildesheim
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2020/01/06
Tag:Barrierefreie Kommunikation
Accessibility; Accessible Communication; Comprehensibility; Easy Language
Page Number:41
First Page:1
Last Page:41
Institutes:Fachbereich III
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Collections:Barrierefreie Kommunikation
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt