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  • Writer's pictureClare Tarling

It's all Greek to me!

A few years ago, I was delivering some Easy Read training to a mixed group of people - care staff, admin staff, and people with learning disabilities. One of the introductory exercises was the Greek Menu. I put the menu up on PowerPoint, and ask the people in the room: "What would you choose?". I had delivered the same training many times, and expected a sea of blank looks, then perhaps ... "I don't know, I can't read Greek!". Or even "I am a vegetarian, I wouldn't risk ordering anything at all.". But this time, I got this comment, from a woman with a learning disability, who had never learned to read:

"But that's what EVERY menu looks like to me!"

I asked "So how do you choose?"

"My mum knows what I like and don't like - she chooses for me."

The woman was not bothered by this, and didn't want things to be any different. And who am I to judge whether this is a right or wrong way to go about choosing lunch? It worked for them. But what if....

  • What if she wants to go out with a friend, instead of her mum?

  • What if her Mum isn't around one day?

  • What if she simply fancies trying something new?

Easy Read is not a short-cut. Not giving people a choice is the short-cut. Choice and control involves hard work, giving up power, taking risks, and changing routines.

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