Background of Easy Finnish

Easy Finnish has been developed in Finland since the 1980s, following the example of Sweden, where the first Easy Language materials were published already a couple of decades earlier. All in all, Nordic cooperation has played an especially important role in the development of Easy Finnish and also in other Easy Languages of the North.

At first, Easy Finnish was developed to serve the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The essential idea was to produce easy-to-understand materials that would make different texts and literature accessible also to people with intellectual disabilities.

It soon turned out that other groups could also benefit from Easy Finnish. The 1990s marked the start of the production of Easy Finnish materials for elderly people and immigrants. The task of integrating the needs and wishes of different people from different backgrounds has not always been easy. But through compromises we have been able to create a strong, shared form of Easy Finnish.

The Finnish Centre for Easy Language (Selkokeskus) was founded in 2000. Since then, Easy Language has developed in many ways. Several theory books regarding Easy Finnish have been published. The study of Easy Finnish has gradually increased, and the studies have been used to develop the principles of Easy Language. In addition to written Easy Language, guidance for spoken Easy Language has been established. The expansion of Easy Language has been quite evident especially during the 2010s. The growth in the number of Easy Language publications, such as brochures, websites and books, is one example of the development.