We're working with Photosymbols to develop our easy read imagery!

Recently, we met with some of the fantastic team at Photosymbols UK to talk about working with them to generate more sector specific imagery for organisations like us that can be used in easy read materials. We also have a brilliant opportunity for you to get involved too!

As part of our focus on developing informative materials that are as accessible as possible, we started to look at image libraries that would enable us to do this simply, but having looked at their site (which is brilliant!) we struggled to find imagery that represented what we do as an organisation.

Many of the stock images were office, retail or medical based, there was nothing that really suggested working outdoors, connecting with nature and the other ways we look to support our growing community through various interest groups - in essence, all of the things that our site and our values encompass.

So we got in touch with the team and explained our issue... we also put an exciting proposition forward... for them to work with us to develop their image bank further!

This is a brilliant opportunity for us, and also for some individuals to help develop these important images by being models for these new images, using our site and activities to generate licenced images that we can use to develop our easy read materials... and for other similar organisations to benefit from too through their image bank membership.           Joe & Pete from the PSUK team were brilliant! They talked us through some of their planning processes and image ideas - so interesting!

Who are Photosymbols?

Photosymbols operate an online photo library that is an essential tool for people who produce easy read information. For over 20 years they have been making their unique style of pictures and they are more popular now than ever. People love the bright colours and positive images of disability that they produce!

You can find out more about Photosymbols here

Throughout the pandemic, they were producing, and continue to produce, key information in easy read for individuals with learning disabilities through a dedicated website called Keep Safe. You may have seen some of this imagery (see below).


What is easy read?

Easy read is an accessible information format for people with a learning disability, using pictures alongside simple text to make things easier to understand. 

We all use so much jargon without even thinking. Writing uncomplicated text takes a bit of practice. But with time most people can refine these skills and become better writers.

It is important to use pictures that feature actors with a learning disability. People reading easy read should see people very much like themselves in any pictures in the information.

How can I get involved?

As well as the need to recruit a team of volunteers who will model for some of the new images that we will use in our important easy read documentation, we also need to assemble a team of people who can help us to develop our written materials.

Would you like to be a part of our team?

If so, please let us know! There are a couple of opportunities to get involved:

Photosymbols Modelling - This is likely to be a 2-day requirement (we are awaiting an indication in dates from Photosymbols)

Easy read materials - this is ongoing (as and when required) - training will be provided.

To express an interest in volunteering for this, please complete our form via the button below, or send us an email to [email protected] 


Many thanks,

Outside Lives x