Health professionals have the challenging job of translating the jargon they learned in professional school to everyday language that people can understand. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has help in the form of the AHRQ Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit, Second Edition.
Jury duty, though sometimes an inconvenient chore, is at the core of the American justice system. Because jury pools draw from all walks of life, they are generally representative of the diverse American public. As such, jury pools are also an excellent testing ground for readability studies.
“Patient engagement” has become a buzzword in health care, and for good reason. For anyone whose job it is to get patients to act—to take their medicines, to come in for their A1c test, to change their diet, to make a decision—finding ways to engage those patients in their health is a must.
I assume all plain language experts who teach, edit, and review have confronted that exasperated sigh from a colleague: So you don’t like the word I’m using. What do you want me to use instead? This question often comes with an eye roll, grimace, or note of panic because of an approaching deadline.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of the Associate Director for Communication published Everyday Words for Public Health Communication in November 2015. It is Version 1 of plain language suggestions – not mandates – to answer that “what instead” question. This blog is the story of how the document came to be.
Yes! About 20% of Americans – some 60 million people – have a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The largest and fastest growing type of disability is visual. Think baby boomers moving from spectacles to screen readers, and living longer than ever before…
Making your website accessible opens it up to more people, and for many of us, it is required by law. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (508 for short) says that any agency that gets money from the federal government must make its site and its downloadable PDFs accessible.
Over the past few years, I’ve been writing a book about ethics and plain language. I was invited to reflect here on what I’ve learned, and I’m happy to share six of the most important lessons that stand out for me.