Need for Easy Finnish

How many people in Finland need Easy Finnish? According to a needs assessment (2019) carried out by the Finnish Centre for Easy Language, around 650,000–750,000 people, i.e. 11–14% of the Finnish population, belong in the target groups of Easy Finnish.

The assessment is based on various statistics (e.g. number of special needs students, sizes of different groups of people with disabilities), international comparative data, and starting from the early 2000s, literacy surveys as well. 

Who needs Easy Finnish?

Easy Finnish benefits people with inadequate language skills, increasing their opportunities to cope with situations in everyday life, studies and working life and to participate in society.

The need for Easy Finnish can be connected to

  • neurobiological causes (e.g. developmental disability, dysphasia, dyslexia, ADHD or other similar conditions)
  • reduced language skills (e.g. memory disorders, aphasia)
  • using Finnish as a second or foreign language.

In certain situations, Easy Language may be beneficial for other groups as well, such as for patients in mental health rehabilitation or for people unaccustomed to reading. Regardless, the need for Easy Language is unique to each individual.

Most of the Easy Finnish material is suited for all user groups. If the material is chiefly aimed at a specific group, it is good to pay attention to the target group and adapt content according to the group’s needs. The result is a language that serves all the user groups better than standard language and especially takes the needs and challenges of the primary target group into account.

The need for Easy Finnish keeps growing

The need for Easy Finnish has increased in recent years for e.g. the following reasons:

  • The number of elderly people has grown. As the population ages, memory diseases become increasingly common. The trend is that people are encouraged to live at home as long as possible. These people need simple instructions and other materials.
  • The number of immigrants keeps growing. A growing number of people are learning Finnish as a foreign language. For them, Easy Finnish is a good gateway for inclusion in Finnish society and culture and for learning Finnish.
  • The number of students with special needs keeps growing. Among them, there are many people who have specific linguistic difficulties and for whom easy-to-understand materials can serve, for example, as inspiration for reading.

Read more

Need assessment 2019 (in Finnish)

Needs assessment 2014 (in Finnish)