Scenario 3: Inclusion strategies in written and electronic communication with people with ID concerning health and wellness

The chair of the Quality Improvement Committee of an outpatient clinic finds that the clinic’s website and written brochures are not accessible to clients with ID.    What resources could she consult to propose a new clinic policy for assuring that on-line and print materials are accessible to all clients?

Inclusion strategies for communication take into account the wide range of human abilities and result in access for all. 


Topic:  Introduction to Inclusion Strategies

Title:  Inclusion Strategies

Source:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Disability and Health site

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Description:  “Inclusion of people with disabilities into everyday activities involves practices and policies designed to identify and remove barriers such as physical, communication, and attitudinal, that hamper individuals’ ability to have full participation in society, the same as people without disabilities.”

Topic:  Web Content Accessibility

Title:  Introduction to Web Accessibility by WebAIM

Source:  WebAim, a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

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Description:  “This introduction should help you understand how people with disabilities use the web, the frustrations they feel when they cannot access the web, and what you can do to make your sites more accessible.”  This site includes a video, Keeping Web Accessibility in Mind, that will help you to…“Gain an appreciation of web accessibility by understanding the user perspective. This 11 minute video provides an overview of the difficulties users with disabilities face on the web and some of the motivations for web accessibility.”

Title:  Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – an introduction by WebAIM

Source:  WebAim, a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

Find at:  (see also , WebAIM’s  WCAG 2.0 checklist)

Description:  “The W3C is an international, vendor-neutral group that determines the protocols and standards for the web. They create the specifications for HTML, CSS, etc. A primary initiative of the W3C is to develop accessibility standards. The goal of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is to develop these accessibility standards. WAI working groups develop accessibility standards for web browsers, authoring tools, evaluation tools, and web content, to name a few. The Web Content Work Group’s standards are called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).”

Title: An Introduction to Web Accessibility and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Standards

Source: WebAim, a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University

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Description: The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published a video, Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards, that discusses how the web has become an essential part of daily life for many people, including people with disabilities, and how accessibility is beneficial for everyone. The video also discusses different types of assistive technology, different methods to make websites accessible, and how WAI’s standards and guidelines have been adopted around the world.

Topic:  Health Literacy

Title:  What is Health Literacy?

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Description:  Introduction to health literacy.  “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, defines health literacy as the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.”

Title:  Health Literacy and People with Disabilities (Dr. Deborah Chin, King’s College, London-2015)

Source:  Boston University Medical Center

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Description:  Discussion of health literacy challenges faced by people with intellectual disabilities and possible strategies to overcome challenges.

Title:  Health Literacy:  A Necessary Element for Achieving Health Equity (2015)

Source:  National Academy of Medicine

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Description:  “In this paper, we intend to demonstrate that the concepts of health literacy, health equity, and health disparities are connected, both in practice and in research. We also explore work that can be done at their intersection through the use of examples and selective review of data. Finally, we intend to convey three important messages: 1. Health literacy is intrinsically linked to both an individual’s and a community’s socioeconomic context, and is a powerful mediator of the social determinants of health. 2. Health literacy interventions are viable options among other evidence-based strategies to address social adversity and environmental health determinants and should be considered when assessing meaningful actions to address health disparities. 3. Health literacy interventions and practices contribute to reducing health disparities, which fosters health equity and social justice.”

Topic:  Creating Written Content

Title:  Writing for the Public

Source:  Health Literacy Training series of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Description:  This on-line course is designed for those who create public communication (write, edit, design), and those who develop web and social media content and tools.

Title:  Plain Language Materials and Resources

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Description:  “Plain language makes it easier for everyone to understand and use health information. Although plain language is a familiar idea, many organizations don’t use it as often as they should. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to train staff and use plain language when they communicate with the public.”

Title:  Guidelines for Creating Materials (Rudd)

Source:  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Description:  “As we develop written materials for the general public, we need to think about vocabulary and sentence structure, organization of ideas, as well as layout and design elements so that we can eliminate as many unnecessary barriers as possible.”

Title:  Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations (2012)

Source:  Institute of Medicine

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Description:  “This paper describes 10 attributes of health literate health care organizations, that is, health care organizations that make it easier for people to navigate, understand, and use information and services to take care of their health.