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Spring Cleaning and the CDC Clear Communication Index

Posted on by Cynthia Baur

Spring in Atlanta refreshes the mind and spirit (even while covering us in yellow-green pollen!). In that spirit, we are “spring cleaning” the CDC health literacy Web site and blog.

During the next several months, we’ll freshen up and expand the Web site’s sections and content. We’ll return to regular blog posts, sharing both CDC’s health literacy work and health literacy research and practice in the field.

In the meantime, please take a look at CDC’s Clear Communication Index (Index). We launched the Index In February 2013 at CDC with training classes, examples, and practice sessions. Many CDC programs now use the Index to create new materials and evaluate existing materials, and you can use the fillable score sheet to do the same.

The Index has 4 open-ended questions and multiple scored items. Use the 20-item full score sheet for longer materials such as fact sheets, web pages, and brochures. The 13-item modified score sheet is for social media messages, podcast and call center scripts, and storytelling infographics. The scoring process works the same for both.    

The Index User Guide provides examples for each scored item. We’ll add more examples later this spring, along with a scoring widget. Subscribe to the RSS feed and be the first to know when these go live.

At CDC, the Index helps scientific subject matter experts and communicators discuss key communication issues early and answer “who is the primary audience?” and “what is the main message?” even if they don’t score every item. Everyone on a team may think they know and agree on audience and message, yet misunderstandings and disagreement can surface late in the development process. The Index is helping teams be explicit and clarify sooner rather than later.   

We invite you to try the Index and use the comment section to let us know how the Index works for you. Happy Spring!

Posted on by Cynthia Baur

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