The Accessible Information Standard - What you can expect from services

The Accessible Information Standard requires any organisation providing NHS or social care to communicate in a way that everybody can understand. Here's a reminder of what you should expect.
Deaf people communicating in British Sign Language - accessible information

The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are communicated with in a way that meets their needs. Organisations must provide alternative formats where needed, such as braille, large print, and easy read. They must also support people to communicate, for example by arranging a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, deafblind manual interpreter or an advocate.

So if you’re speaking to a dentist, doctor, care home manager or any other provider of health and social care, here’s what you can expect:

  1. You should be asked if you have any communication needs, and asked how these needs can be met.

  2. Your needs should be recorded in a clear and set way.

  3. Your file or notes should highlight these communication needs so people are aware and know how to meet them.

  4. Information about your communication needs should be shared with other providers of NHS and adult social care, when they have consent or permission to do so.

  5. Information should be delivered to you in a way you can access and understand, with the option for communication support if needed.

The standard applies for patients and carers. 

Read our report - Accessible Information as Standard 

Between October 2016 and the summer of 2017, we spoke to over 180 people about their experiences of getting accessible information. We found that many people were not getting information in a way they could read or understand.

Our report - Accessible Information as Standard - calls on health and care service to improve the ways they provide information for people with learning and sensory disabilities. It also highlights the need for better awareness of the standard among both health professionals and members of the public.

Read the report

For more information 

Find out more about the Accessible Information Standard and what it means for you and the people who are important to you. 

Page checked 17 May 2021

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