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Accessibility for those with Learning Disabilities

Communicate clearly and, whenever possible, directly with the patient and check for understanding. If the patient is accompanied by a carer, establish with the patient how much they would like the carer to be involved during the appointment, e.g. whether the patient would like their carer to be present in the surgery.

Be aware that patients with learning disabilities can become anxious and that extra reassurance and patience may be needed.

Consider allocating a double appointment for those patients with more profound learning disabilities.

Ensure signs and other information for patients are written using clear and simple text, in sentence case. Arial font, minimum point size 16, is recommended in the Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) guidelines.

Refer to the Brief Guide to Easy Read from Disability Information Scotland or the Mencap communication guide which uses pictures to support the meaning of text or the Makaton language programme that uses manual signs, graphic symbols and speech.

Consider the use of other formats. For example: provide a recording of the practice information leaflet. Some organisations can record information e.g. Playback Recording Service Charity.

Refer to the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities website or contact your Local Area Coordinator for further advice.