"This activity considers the claimant’s capability to
read and understand written or printed information in the person’s native
language. To be considered able to read, claimants must be able to see the
information accessing information via Braille is not considered as
reading for this activity.
If the claimant cannot read, this must be as a direct result of their
health condition or impairment e.g. visual impairment, cognitive
impairment or learning difficulties. Illiteracy or lack of familiarity
with written English are not health conditions and should not be
"The ability to remember and retain information is not within the scope of
Consideration must be given to whether the claimant can read and
understand information both indoors and outdoors. In doing so
consideration should also be given to whether the claimant uses or could
reasonably be expected to use aids or appliances, such as a blue screen to
read text when indoors and a portable magnifying glass to do so when
outdoors. If despite aids the claimant cannot read both indoors and
outdoors, another descriptor may apply. "
"Complex information is more than one sentence of
written or printed standard size text – e.g. 'Your home may be at risk
if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt
secured on it. Subject to terms and conditions.' "
Help with this may include "requir[ing] another person
to explain complex written information due to a cognitive impairment"
"Basic information is signs, symbols or dates, e.g. a green
exit sign on a door. "
Help with this may include "requir[ing] another person to remind
them of the meaning of basic information due to a cognitive impairment."
Aids and Appliances
When considering whether a claimant requires an aid or appliance,
[Healthcare Professionals] should distinguish between:
[A] Descriptor...in favour of an aid or appliance should only be given
in the former case. An aid or appliance is not required in the latter."
- an aid or appliance that a claimant must use or could reasonably
be expected to use, in order to carry out the activity safely,
reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner; and
- an aid or appliance that a claimant may be using or wish to use
because it makes it easier to carry out the activity safely, reliably,
repeatedly and in a timely manner.
Last updated October 2015