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Health Literacy Action:
Toolkit for Patient Educators

Committee Member Resource Suggestions

Plain Language

Medspeak in Plain Language – Medical Library Association

Tools for Assessing Cultural Competency

PlainTrain, the Plain Language Online Training Program
English version -
French version -

Clear Language and Design (CLAD)


NIH Plain Language Training

The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)



Readability index calculator

Clean Language and Design- reading effectiveness tool

SMOG – Simple Measure of Gobbledygook

SMOG calculator

Writing Sample Analyzer

Developing Effective Print Materials

Hamilton Health Sciences (2008) Writing health information for patients and families: A guide to creating patient education materials that are easy to read, understand and use. Hamilton: Hamilton Health Science.

Jewish General Hospital (2008) How to create effective written patient learning materials. Montreal: Jewish General Hospital.

National Cancer Institute. (2003). Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers. Retrieved on June 16,  2008, from 

SAM Suitability Assessment of Materials

Health Literacy and Plain Language

van Haaften, Jami. (2010). Health Literary & Plain Language
[PowerPoint Presentation].

Websites and usability

U.S. Dept of Health and human services (2006). Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.
View Report

European Union