EASIER corpus: A lexical simplification resource for people with cognitive impairments Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2023


  • 4 April


  • 18

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-6203


  • Thanks to technologies such as the Internet and devices now available to people, we have increasingly greater access to larger quantities of information. However, people with ageing disabilities or intellectual disabilities, non-native speakers, and others have difficulties reading and understanding information. For this reason, it is essential to provide text simplification mechanisms when accessing information. Natural Language Processing methods can be applied to simplify textual content and improve understanding. These methods often use machine learning algorithms and models which require resources, such as corpora, to be trained and tested. This article presents the EASIER corpus, a resource that can be used to build lexical simplification methods to process Spanish domain-independent texts. The EASIER corpus is composed of 260 annotated documents with 8,155 words labelled as complex and 5,130 words with at least one proposed context-aware synonym associated. Expert linguists in easy-to-read and plain language guidelines have annotated the corpus based on their experience adapting texts for people with intellectual disabilities. Sixteen annotation guidelines that discriminate between complex and simple words have been defined to help other groups of experts to generate new annotations. Additionally, an inter-annotator agreement test was performed to validate the corpus, obtaining a Fleiss Kappa coefficient of 0.641. Furthermore, a qualitative evaluation was conducted with 45 users (including people with intellectual disabilities, elderly people, and a control audience). Complex word identification tasks achieved moderate results, but the synonyms proposed to replace complex words achieved almost perfect ratings. This resource has been integrated into the EASIER platform, a tool that helps people with cognitive impairments and intellectual disabilities to read and understand texts more easily.