Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop

Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop

This workshop is designed for motivated individuals and teams working to communicate health information in ways people can understand. Join us for “Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop” on March 17–18, 2016 in Boston, MA. Visit the website to learn more and apply. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served … Continue reading

Communicating About Lead: Lessons from Flint

Doodle reading about lead

We’ve all seen the devastating news from Flint, MI. Many of us have already taken action — either personally orprofessionally. As health communicators, we have an important role to play in educating the public (or sometimes just our friends and family) when a health crisis makes headlines. Especially when it’s a complicated environmental health topic like lead poisoning. … Continue reading

Testing Techniques Part 4: Online Surveys

Illustration of a "Survey Survey" with the question "Is your survey plain language?" and a 10-point scale from "Nu-uh!" to "Ehh..." to "Yes" (selected), with a game show host pointing to it and saying "Survey sa..." with several unimpressed onlookers.

Online surveys can be great tools for learning about your audience, but it’s important to create them carefully to get the information you want — especially if your audience has limited literacy skills. Whether you’re using existing survey questions or creating new ones, plain language and clear design principles apply (surely this is not surprising, … Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Sex (and Gender)


A common question we get from clients and readers alike is, “Should I use ‘sex’ or ‘gender’ in my health information?” Never fear, dear readers, we’re here to set the record straight! Sex is biological. It’s about your chromosomes, your anatomy, and your hormones. In terms of sex, most people are male or female. Gender is social. … Continue reading

How To Write for Everyone (Sort Of)

Illustration of a Doodle with a megaphone in front of a giant crowd, holding up a piece of paper and saying "Behold! A document that considers all of us!"

We’ve talked about knowing your audience and tailoring your content, but how do you write relevant content when your target audience is very broad? Say, all Americans ages 18 through 45? That’s a big group of people with really varied demographics. In these instances, your main objective is to not exclude any of your readers. You do this by … Continue reading

What Star Wars Teaches Us About Health Literacy

Illustration of Star Wars characters Chewbacca, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Leia, and BB8 looking at a lightsaber, while Darth Vader looks on sadly from across the room.

[Editor’s note: We have a few hardcore Star Wars nerds here at We ❤ Health Literacy headquarters and their enthusiasm in these final days before the release of The Force Awakens has gotten unbearable. In an effort to distract them, we've given them this week’s post — sincere apologies to all you non-Star Wars lovers out there.] The wisdom of Star Wars has been applied to just about … Continue reading

Announcing Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop!

Save the dates of March 17 – 18, 2016 for “Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop” in Boston, MA. Hosted by CommunicateHealth and the Tufts Health Literacy Leadership Institute with funding from the National Library of Medicine.

We don’t usually post promotional content, dear readers, but we’re too excited about this not to shout it from the virtual rooftops. More details to follow in the new year — but for now, mark your calendars! Tweet about it: Coming to Boston, March 17–18! Plain Language for Health: A Writing and Design Workshop [ link] via @CommunicateHlth