A SPECIALIST nurse has criticised an adapted version of a council’s library survey.

It is claimed the EasyRead Strategy and survey breach Government guidelines.

The nurse, who specialises in helping people with learning disabilities, said the online documents have “chaotic, jumbled pages” and are “completely disrespectful to people with learning disabilities”.

However, Essex County Council strongly disputes the comments, saying feedback from support groups for people with learning disabilities has been positive and individuals had a “general understanding” of what the strategy is about.

The council plans to shut a third of its 74 libraries while it hopes volunteers will run others in a bid to save £2 million.

The nurse, who the Gazette has agreed not to identify, said: “They are just huge documents, one is nearly 40 pages.

“The whole point is it is easy to read. Bearing in mind we are talking about people with an IQ below 70 for a mild disability. You are asking them to look at nearly 70 pages.”

The Government recommends EasyRead papers should not be more than 20 pages, although the county council said this was merely guidance.

The Easy Survey is 29 pages and the EasyRead Strategy is 38 pages .

It also recommends simple sentences of no more than 15 words but the council paperwork uses sentences up to double that length.

In response, the county council said as it has provided only one idea per sentence it still meets the standard.

The council was previously criticised for using an icon of a transgender person appearing to be taking off a wig or scratching their head, which it has since replaced.

A council spokesman said: “People with learning disabilities can have varied and wide-ranging needs.

“It is vital we try to capture their views on what are detailed and complex proposals so any proposals are inclusive and meet the individual needs of all users.

“The EasyRead version was produced by Inclusive Communication Essex, a department within Essex County Council which specialises in producing EasyRead materials and advising on how to support people with learning disabilities.

“The team involved people with learning disabilities throughout the development of the draft strategy, to ensure it would be appropriate for and understood by its target audience.

“All materials by the team are in accordance with Government guidance from the Office for Disability Issues and human rights organisation Change.”