By Topic - Plain Language and Health Literacy

General Information and Tools | Plain Language Glossary | Clear Communication Guide

General Information and Tools

Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers
National Cancer Institute
This guide, developed by the National Cancer Institute, outlines a process for developing publications for people with limited literacy skills.

Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit
Harvard School of Public Health
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality commissioned the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to develop and test this Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit. The toolkit offers primary care practices a way to assess their services for health literacy considerations, raise awareness of the entire staff, and work on specific areas.

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Health Literacy and Patient Safety: Help Patients Understand
Developed by the AMA in 2003, this booklet provides general information on what health literacy is and why it is important; tips on how to estimate a patient’s literacy level; and an overview on communicating effectively with patients orally and in writing.

New England Literacy Resource Center
NELRC works to strengthen adult literacy services in New England through sharing and collaborative projects among adult literacy professional development providers, practitioners and policy-makers.

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Scientific and Technical Information Simply Put
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This guide, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helps health care providers translate complicated scientific and technical information into written materials that capture and keep the interest of the intended audience.

SMOG Readability Calculator
The Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) is designed to assess the reading level of written materials. It is an easy to interpret system which expresses the result as a school grade level based on two aspects of text: word length and sentence length.

Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills
This book is now considered a classic text in health literacy. The authors are often introduced at health literacy conferences as 'the grandparents' of health literacy.

The Health Literacy Environment of Hospitals and Health Centers: Partners for
Action: Making Your Healthcare Facility Literacy-Friendly
The guide and the review tools offer an approach for analyzing literacy-related barriers to healthcare access and navigation. This guide was designed to help managers improve the health literacy environment of their healthcare facilities to better serve their patients and staff and ultimately to increase revenue.

The Health Literacy of America's Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)
This report is the first release of the NAAL health literacy results.  The results are based on assessment tasks designed specifically to measure the health literacy of adults living in the United States.  Health literacy was reported using four performance levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate and Proficient.

The Plain Language Initiative
This website was created to provide resources to help writers achieve the goal of plain language at NIH.

Note: You'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader program to view the PDF files on your computer.

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