More about Photosymbols

The Pictures

People with learning disabilities love photosymbols because they're based on real photos and real people. There are over 4000 pictures specially designed for easy-read information with a wide range of topics. We remove distracting backgrounds making it easier to focus on the meaning. We also use graphic elements based on symbol communication. It's a combination of these things that makes a photosymbol.


  • 2 deaf signers at table

  • woman with staff team behind her

  • 2 polices officers and a dog

The Collection

A subscription to Photosymbols gives you access to the entire picture collection which we keep on a Cloud. You get a username and password so you can log in. You can download and use pictures as much as you like - in printed information, websites and other media. Each month we add new pictures to the collection which you can use straight away. 

The People

We work in partnership with many different organisations to produces the pictures. Most characters have a learning disability and you can get to know them by name if you search through the collection. At other times we work with professional services to get authoritative, realistic photos - for example in health or emergency services.  

The New Formats

We introduce some new image formats for 2014 - Big 300dpi versions for professional print and transparent PNG images you can place onto colour backgrounds without seeing a white box around the picture.


Helping you write easy-read

Easy-read is a kind of accessible information that many people with learning disabilities like to receive. It's required by law if someone asks for it just like braille or information in different languages

If you provide easy-read then our templates can help you get started by giving you a framework to place pictures and text. The fonts are set up at good sizes and the layouts are clear and visual. 

  • Template Example 1

  • Template Example 2

  • Template Example 3

Publishing with PowerPoint 

People are used to making information using MS Word but it's not really built for design. PowerPoint is usually associated with making slideshows, but with a little tweaking we've made our templates A4 and ready to print! The even better news? With PowerPoint you get to use many of the same features in Desktop Publishing software like Publisher and InDesign. And the chances are you already have it installed as part of Office.

Mac Users

Mac users can use the same template files with Apple Keynote which is available in the Mac App Store for £6.99. 


Writing easy-read

The perfect recipe for easy-read goes something like this; Design. Pictures. Words. In order to produce a clear piece of information we need to consider each of these aspects. This is where Wordclips come in. It's a searchable list of common difficult words and ideas, with some written text explaining the idea in an easier way. You can copy and paste the text into a document or edit it if you need to. We also include a matching photosymbol picture alongside the text to save you searching for one.


  • The Acute Liaison Nurse service exists to promote access to our services for people with learning disabilities by directly supporting people and developing hospital and community systems. They work with any adult and child with a learning disability who requires additional support to access hospital services.

  • woman with staff team behind her

  • Acute Liaison Nurse

    The Acute Liaison Nurse helps people with learning disabilities get good support when they are in hospital.

Wordclips are available as part of the Photosymbols Cloud subscription and are updated regularly like the pictures and templates. They are aimed at anyone doing easy-read translation or just trying to write more clearly.