About the Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard (AIS) was introduced by the government in 2016 to make sure that people with a disability or sensory loss are given information in a way they can understand.

It is now the law for the NHS and adult social care services to comply with AIS. Find out more about AIS below, or download our easy read guide about it.

What is the Accessible Information Standard?

The standard aims to make sure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand, and with support, so they can communicate easily with health and social care services.

This should lead to improved outcomes and experiences, and safer, better services.

The Standard is there to help NHS and adult social care services to improve, so they can better meet the communication and support needs of disabled people.

Who has to follow the standard?

All organisations that offer NHS or Adult Social Care must now follow the Accessible Information Standard by law. This includes doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and social workers.

How does the standard work?

If you have a learning disability it means that NHS or Adult Social Care services need to:

Find out your communication and information needs

Record these communication and information needs clearly and consistently on your record

Flag these needs, so when a member of staff opens your record it is really clear what your communication or information needs are

Share your information and communication needs when needed, for example if they are referring you to another service.

Take action to give you the right support.  For example, offering you easy read information or making sure there is someone there to support you with communication.

What should I do next?

It is really important that everyone learns about their rights in the standard, to make sure they are getting the right service.

People are still learning about the standard so it is important to remind services what they need to do.

Mencap has created an easy read guide so you can find out more, and you can use the communication tool below to tell people what your needs are.

Make sure you check if your communication needs are noted down clearly by medical or care staff.

Further resources

CHANGE has produced a communication card which you can use to share your communication needs, which can be downloaded from their website here

NHS England - more information about accessible information 

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Accessible Information Standard - easy read

See our easy read guide to getting information you can understand from health and social care services

Click to read
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Treat Me Well

Treat Me Well is our campaign to transform how the NHS treats people with a learning disability in hospital. 

We know the treatment people with a learning disability get in hospital is still not good enough in many parts of the country. This has to change. 

Find out more
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