Communication as a Tool for Health
The world has seen a tremendous growth in media options and technologies over the years. This growth has led to a related increase in communication formats. Technologies that were obscure or nonexistent in the relatively recent past are now staples in the daily lives of many individuals, providing them with access to vast amounts of information. Such technologies include, to name a few, text messages and emails, podcasts and blogs, video hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This increase in communication options and technologies now allows individuals, as well as businesses, organizations, schools, and other groups, to substantially increase the reach of any messages they choose to broadcast or otherwise disseminate. Two fields that have been increasingly employing these new technologies are public health and health care, with the intention of getting more and better information regarding health and wellness to as many individuals and groups as possible. However, while this increase in communication has certainly been beneficial in getting health-related messages out, it has not effectively reached the entirety of targeted populations.
Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act serve as the legal basis entitling all individuals, regardless of ability level, to clear, understandable, effective communication. This includes information about health-related information, issues, events, programs, opportunities, etc. The purpose of the information and resources in Promoting Inclusive Health Communication is to provide a list of strategies to help individuals and organizations create and amenda all forms of health communication to be inclusive, ensuring that all messaging efforts (and subsequent benefits) reach and impact all individuals and groups within a community.