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Reflections on Health Literacy Month

The Healthy People 2030 Campaign describes social determinants of health as “the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”


It includes a variety of aspects of everyday life:

  • Health care

  • Education

  • Social connections

  • Community and neighborhoods

  • Economic stability, including work and housing

Basically, health is connected to everything.


Health is Everything

At Clear Language Lab, we work across sectors. For example, this year we have worked on plain language projects such as the following:

  • Providing clear information to community members on COVID-19 flyers and around COVID-19 vaccine events

  • Revising a housing subsidy handbook to ensure people understand how their rent subsidy works so they can stay housed

  • Updating a workforce development orientation so that people fully understand the resources available to them and more smoothly access services

  • Revising a grant process so that smaller organizations in under resourced areas can equitably apply for projects that often go to organizations with larger budgets and more resources

We have also conducted tailored training with program staff that spans sectors including:

  • Librarians

  • Domestic violence advocates

  • Legal aid lawyers

  • Housing counselors

  • Health researchers

  • And more

Making the Connection

We do this work because we believe improving communication systems at the most fundamental level has huge potential to reimagine so many aspects of life. How can people address their mental health without stable housing? How can people make sure they take care of themselves when they are struggling to find a good-paying job? How can people focus on their family’s health when there is violence in the home?


No matter what area you work in, clear communication is integral to every single one of them. And every single one of these areas impacts the health of individuals, families, and communities.


There are a variety of challenges in the systems above. But clear communication is something we don’t have to wait to address. We can start now.


Join us at an upcoming Clear Language Lab event or contact Melanie Sampson at melanie@litworks.org to explore how we can support you in making your communications more accessible, no matter in what sector you work.