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Updated November 2023

The Hub team is finding, adapting and creating health literacy resources for health information communicators and consumers in Maryland. On this page, you'll find guidelines, tools, and research to help with writing, visuals, and more. For general health literacy resources, check our resources page.

Maryland Specific Resources: Plain Language and Language Access 

Maryland Clear Writing and Plain Language Checklist

The Hub's State and Local Agency Workgroup created this plain language checklist based on one from the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. Applying this checklist to revise existing content or write new content will help agencies comply with the plain language requirements in the Hub law.

Advancing Language Access Toolkit

The Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA) created this toolkit that can be a model to help counties and cities comply with federal and state language access mandates. Learn how Language Access Liaisons and bilingual employees, among other strategies, help ensure language access for diverse populations. 

Interpretation Services Poster

Use this graphic to help identify language needs and bridge language gaps in your community. You can display this poster in public-facing areas, such as front desk areas, and use it to connect Marylanders with interpretation services or qualified bilingual staff.

Statewide Foreign Language Interpretation/Translation Services

This program provides Maryland State agencies, both government and non-government, on-demand and accessible translation services. These services are available 24-hours a day, every day of the year. The goal of this program is to decrease language barriers. 

211 Maryland

This statewide resource connects Marylanders to health and human resources in their county. Marylanders can get information in 13 different languages online or over the phone. The 211 website is managed by the Maryland Information Network. 

Checklists and Tools

CDC Communication Plan Template 

Use this planning tool to identify the key elements of a strategic communication activity. 

Data Visualization Checklist Online Tool

This free online tool from Stephanie Evergreen evaluates uploaded visualizations. Note: We're linking to the free content as a public service, but this is not an endorsement of paid or commercial services also available on the website.

Other Helpful Resources

Digital.gov

This resource provides guides and resources on best practices for clear communication using digital content. Organizations can use these resources to create better digital services.

Federal Plain Language Guidelines

These guidelines compel federal government agencies to use plain language when communicating with the public. They are a helpful resource for anyone who needs to communicate clearly.

Health Literacy Online

This guide is for web designers, content specialists, and other public health communication professionals. They can learn best practices for how to deliver online health information that is actionable and engaging, create a health web site that’s easy to use, particularly for people with limited literacy skills and limited experience using the web, and evaluate and improve your health website with user-centered design.

Limited English Proficiency

This Federal government program shares resources and tools to improve language assistance services, per Executive Order 13166, which mandated that all Federal agencies must have support for people with limited English proficiency. The resources cover topics like immigration, language access planning, and public benefits and health.

Public Health Communications Collaborative

Public health professionals can use this site to find resources for communicating about health issues, including messaging tools and guides for responding to misinformation. Check out the Collaborative's Plain Language for Public Health communication tool for guidance on applying plain language principles to public health communication.

Population and Audience Research

Health Information National Trends Survey

The National Cancer Institute collects regularly collects national data on the public's knowledge of, attitudes about and use of cancer and other health-related information.

Pew Research Center Public Surveys

Pew Research Center collects, display and interprets the results public surveys on major, nationally-discussed topics, including health and science.

Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Skills Map

The PIACC Skills Map provides model-based estimates of adult literacy and numeracy in all U.S. counties, states, and the District of Columbia. There are also estimates of literacy and numeracy proficiency by age and education groups at the state and county levels.