Health and health care organizations serve individuals with a wide array of communication styles, literacy levels, languages spoken, and cultural backgrounds. Culturally and linguistically appropriate services help you make sure health information is understood by all the individuals you serve, regardless of their communication needs and preferences. In addition to providing interpreter services and translated materials, this also means taking health literacy into account. This is why Standard #8 of the National CLAS Standards calls for organizations to provide easy-to-understand print and multimedia materials and signage.
A number of resources are available to guide you in developing print and online materials that are easily understood.
- The Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit from the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality guides primary care practitioners in addressing health literacy limitations among patients.
- The Health Literacy Tool Shed, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, houses over a hundred health literacy measurement tools.
- Health Literacy Online, created by the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, offers guidance on developing easy-to-use health websites and digital information tools, featuring best practices in user-centered design, usability, and health literacy.