We are halfway through October, but there’s still time to address health literacy, in honor of Health Literacy Month. This dedicated month was established in 1999 by Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L, a clinician and president of Health Literacy Consulting, and is designed to promote the importance of understandable health information for both organizations and individuals. As mentioned in our previous blog post, health literacy enables one to make decisions regarding one’s health based on the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information. Important for health literacy is the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn (Source: UDL Center). These principles provide better ways to reach the low literacy population by presenting content in ways other than a large block of text to be read. A large portion of the month is made up of events to promote health literacy on both a corporate and an individual level. The month promotes aligning with businesses, including large international pharmaceutical corporations, as well as aligning locally with schools and healthcare professionals. Additionally, students and parents are encouraged to put health first and increase health literacy, since good health is crucial for learning. There are many websites that provide healthcare information in a way that is simple to understand. Some of these websites employ the principles of UDL by making their content available in other formats, including video and audio. Visit the following websites to increase your health knowledge:

The theme of this year’s Health Literacy Month is “Be a Literacy Hero”. Become a hero by taking action and finding ways to improve health communications. If you already have a literacy hero, nominate an individual or organization here. [speech-enabling_websites]