New Accessibility Guide for Water Retailers Launched

A new guide and sample Easy English documents will assist water retailers to enhance access to services and support for customers with cognitive disabilities.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Water is an essential service. All customers need to understand how the water services they use are provided, regulated and costed, but water businesses’ current processes may not serve the needs of every customer. This can include customers with cognitive disabilities, who may have difficulties with learning, concentrating on, processing, remembering, or communicating information, and/or making decisions.

A team of researchers at the University of Melbourne was commissioned by the Essential Services Commission to develop practical resources to assist water retailers to enhance access to services and support for customers with cognitive disabilities.

The resources are based on research conducted with people with cognitive disabilities and their representative organisations, including prior research in the essential services and telecommunications sectors. Francesca Lee (Brain Injury Matters) provided expert advice on the content of the guide for retailers. The two sample Easy English documents were produced by Scope and tested with consumers.

The outcomes of the research project – a 14-page guide for retailers and two sample Easy English documents – were launched this week by the Essential Services Commission, Victoria’s independent regulator of the energy, water and transport sectors.

Dr Yvette Maker, the project’s Senior Research Associate, said that "the resources are designed to help water businesses maximise accessibility and support for consumers in a way that is consistent with their regulatory obligations and industry best practice."

Links to the guide for retailers and sample Easy English documents are available below. For more information about this project contact

Report Cover

Enhancing Access and Support for Water Customers with Cognitive Disabilities

A 14-page guide for water retailers.

Download: Download the Guide (PDF)

Download: Download the Guide (Accessible Word)

Sample Easy English Resources

A sample summary customer charter and bill explainer in Easy English format.  These documents provide general guidance on the nature and content of Easy English documents. The images, Easy English symbol and Scope logo cannot be used without permission and the content cannot be directly reproduced as it is subject to copyright.

Download: Download the Summary Customer Charter (Accessible PDF)

Download: Download the Summary Bill Explainer (Accessible PDF)