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Innovations in Dementia CIC

Complaining about information that you can't understand

Talking to the organisation providing the information



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Do you sometimes find it hard to understand printed information?

Many people find information hard to understand, and people with dementia will find this harder as their dementia progresses.

One reason for this is brain damage, caused by dementia.

But another reason is that information is poorly written or laid out.

This webpage explains what to do if you have been given information that you cannot understand.

Disability Discrimination Act

Under the Disability Discrimination Act, service providers have to make sure that their services are easier for disabled people to use.

  • To find out what 'service provider' means, click here to go to the notes at the bottom of the page.
  • People with dementia qualify as 'disabled' under the Act so long as the dementia has an effect on your ability to carry out 'normal day-to-day' activities.

If you have been given some information you can’t understand, what should you do?

Step 1 - talk to the organisation
The first step is to talk to the organisation.

If you don’t feel confident doing this alone, then ask someone to help you.

For more information and tips about how to talk to them, click here.

If you prefer, you can skip this step and write to them instead, as shown in step 2.

Step 2 - write a formal letter
If you can’t sort out the problem by talking to the organisation, then the next step is to write formally to them.

We have adapted a letter from the Disability Rights Commission for you to use.

Simply print it out, fill in the information in the boxes and post it to the organisation.

The letter is available here in either MS Word or PDF format.

We have also produced an example of what the letter might look like once it is filled in. Click here to open the PDF file.

Step 3 - take the matter futher
If the organisation doesn’t respond to you, or gives a response that you are unhappy with, then you will need to get help to take the matter further.

There are a variety of organisations that might be able to help you take further action under the Disability Discrimination Act.

For more information and contact details for organisations that might be able to help, click here to go to the notes at the bottom of the page.

It is important that you take this step within 6 months, as that is the limit for taking legal action.

What is a service provider?

Anyone who provides a service to the public is a service provider.

Examples of service providers are;

  • Hospitals
  • Social services
  • Hotels
  • Shops
  • Banks
  • Schools
  • Building Societies
  • Information Services
  • Communication Services
  • Public Buildings
  • Recreational Facilities
  • Employment Agencies

Click here to return to information about the Disability Discrimination Act

Organisations that might be able to help you take your case forwards include:

Equality and Human Rights Commission Disability Helpline (England)
There are many different ways to contact the Helpline. Click here to visit their website for more information (the website also give details of helplines in Scotland and Wales.
…or you can call them on 08457 622 633. Their lines are open between 8 o’clock in the morning and 8 0’clock in the evening, Monday to Friday.

Citizen Advice Bureau
For free and impartial advice.
You will find your local office in the phonebook or at the website by clicking here

Law Centres
Law Centres provide a free and independent professional legal service to people who live or work in their catchment areas.
To find your nearest law centre visit their website. You will find a link to on the right-hand side of this page -

Innovations in Dementia is not associated with any of these organisations, but provides their contact details in good faith.

Click here to return to information about taking your complaint further

Any comments?

Please contact us with any comments or suggestions about the information on this page (including how easy it is to understand!)

We would also be interested to hear from anyone who has gone through the process.

Email Steve at

Innovations in Dementia CIC, PO Box 616, Exeter, EX1 9JB

Registered as a community interest company No. 06046815.
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© Innovations in Dementia CIC 2012
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