The Accessible Information Standard: What, How and Why?

s blue toned background image of a computer keyboard with the symbols for disabled, deaf and blind. text at the top reads 'accessible information standard'' and is in a blue box next to a blue and white tick.

At Ambient, we have many resources in place to ensure that we meet the Accessible Information Standard, so that the people we support and our staff have access to the information they need in a format that suits their individual needs.  

What is the Accessible Information Standard? 

The Accessible Information Standard sets out a standardised framework for recognising and meeting the information and communication needs of people with learning disabilities, impairments or sensory loss.  

In social care, the Accessible Information Standard ensures that service users (and sometimes carers and parents) will receive: 

  • Accessible information-  ‘information which is able to be read or received and understood by the individual or group for which it is intended’  
  • Communication support- ‘support which is needed to enable effective, accurate dialogue between a professional and a service user to take place’. 

This allows more individuals to be able to access appropriate services more independently, and to feel empowered to make informed decisions about their well-being, care and support. 

Why meet the Accessible Information Standard? 

Meeting the Accessible Information Standard offers several benefits:  

  • Accessible information and communication support empowers people to understand information regarding their care and support, allowing them to make more informed decisions and have more involvement in all aspects of their care.  
  • It fosters a culture of inclusivity, making social care services accessible to all.  
  •  The Accessible Information Standard helps reduce disparities among different groups and encourages everyone to access information independently. 

How does Ambient meet the Accessible Information Standard? 

Our literature and online resources are always created or modified with accessibility in mind. We achieve this with: 

Browse Aloud

The brosw aloud symbol of some headphones with a 'b' in the centre, on a yellow background with the text 'browse aloud'

The Ambient Website uses the Reachdeck Toolbar to read text aloud to the user. It also translates into 100 languages and lets users with reading difficulties, language differences and visual impairments to access all our website content. 

Reachdeck toolbar on a dark background with different symbols of reach use of the toolbar
The Reachdeck Toolbar

The toolbar can: 

  • Read the page out loud, either selected text or from the top of the page. 
  • Provide written and spoken translations in multiple languages. 
  • Display pictures related to text selected on the page, to offer a visual definition of a word. 
  • Convert selected text into an MP3 for offline listening. 
  • Block distractions on screen with a tinted mask. 
  • Enlarge text as it is read out loud. 
  • Remove clutter from the screen, such as ads, images, and other distractions – displaying only the main text. 

Jargon Buster

Image of various confusing 'jargon' words relating to social care in a cloud outline

The Care and Support Jargon Buster, created by Think Local Act Personal is implemented on the Ambient website. The Jargon Buster aims to clarify confusing words and language surrounding care and support so that everyone can understand and navigate the information or services available to them. 

According to TLAP: ‘All of the terms were carefully checked before they were included in the collection by a steering group which included members of the National Coproduction Advisory Group (NCAG), individuals unfamiliar with social care terminology and key stakeholders from across the social care sector.’ 

Easy Read A woman with dark brown hair holds a white booklet with the words 'easy read' across the front

We create Easy Read versions of our internal documents for the people we support, and Easy Read guides for new staff and clients joining services across regions, following the PhotoSymbols guidelines. Relevant pages of our website also have the option to be viewed in an Easy Read format. 

two different types of forms, one with lots of confusing text and a red 'x' over it, and one in easy read format with a green tick over it

Easy Read is a way of displaying information to make it easier to understand for those with difficulty reading and focuses more on visual photo information while limiting the amount of text. 

An open book displaying examples of large easy read print

Sentences are kept short, with large font and the active tense is used to make any reading more engaging.


An example of an Ambient easy read document about our ISF service. The document features clear images and sectioned text in small amounts.
An example Easy Read document about Ambient’s ISF service


Original Video Content 

Ambient have a library of original video content that can be found on our YouTube channel and across numerous pages on our website. These videos cover a range of topics such as Personal Budgeting, explained through succinct animations, clear audio voiceover and subtitles. 

Visit the Ambient Youtube channel here for more.  

ALT Text 

Where possible, we try to include ALT text to images shared on our website and social media. ALT text lets you describe the function, appearance and contents of an image, to improve accessibility for people who use screen readers to access online content.  

Audio Notes 

We have the capability to create audio notes, such as Fire Safety information, and produce these on request for individuals with sight loss. 

The Ambient Guardians 

a photo of the ambient guardians group, with their logos next to the image

We also consult with our Ambient Guardians frequently on the best ways to communicate information to the people we support, and their involvement as experts by experience informs our creation of media and literature across the organisation.  

The Guardians and the Ambient Marketing & Communications Team were finalists of the Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2023 in the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ category, for our innovative, accessible and flexible communications offering.

Keeping things up to date

An important part of prioritising accessible information is also making sure it stays relevant and up to date. We ensure this through: 

  • Training and raising awareness among staff and volunteers regarding the importance of the Accessible Information Standard. Encouraging a culture of inclusivity and openness.  
  • Implementing a feedback system that allows patients or service users to report any issues related to accessibility. Using this feedback to continually improve our services.  
  • Regularly monitoring and reviewing our adherence to the AIS and making adjustments as needed, and recognising that compliance is an ongoing process that requires vigilance. 

The Accessible Information Standard plays a significant role in helping the social care sector to be more inclusive, and organisations that meet the standard are contributing to a more equitable environment for everybody in social care.  

Ambient aims to continue making meaningful strides toward ensuring accessible information and communication support is available for individuals with disabilities or sensory impairments, and to improving the quality of care and services for all. 

Stay up to date with everything happening at Ambient on our social media pages: 

Instagram    Facebook    Linkedin    Threads   

Great Place to Work Logo
Disability Confident logo
Mindful Employer logo
Driving up Quality logo
Bild Logo
Fundraising Regulator logo
Not for Profit Logo
Chas Logo