7th July 2006 at 01:00

Word-bank has been created by a team of people who believe that easy access to information, particularly on the internet, is one of the main keys to progress for those with learning difficulties. Building on the successful approach used for the Enabled London website, they have developed a tool that can be added to any site. Working with students and adults with learning difficulties from around east London, the team identified difficult words, defined them, added an animation and made this accessible with a single click.

The process of selecting words and defining them is central to the work, with a panel of users involved throughout the process to ensure the clarity of the explanation. Around 80 words have already been validated, with more to be added, particularly as subscribing sites begin to bring in their own particular vocabulary. Examples of words already available include, "landmark", which is, "something that is well known and usually near to where you need to go", and "Halal", a "special way of preparing food, especially meat, for Muslims".

Schools, groups and individuals can support Word-bank by subscribing to the website and offering their own ideas about words that should be included and how they can be defined.

John Galloway

Adviser for special needsICT, Tower Hamlets, London

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