- Endorsement & Cobranding
- Clinical Trials
When writing for patients, visitors and the general public, our goal is to make our messaging as accessible as possible, including to people with cognitive or learning disabilities or lower literacy skills. It is important to remember that people reading our content may be experiencing a number of stressors, overwhelmed or not feeling well, so it serves our readers best to make our copy as easy to read and understand as we can.
Follow these tips to make your copy accessible:
- Aim for a Flesch-Kincaid grade level readability score of 8. Search "Flesh-Kincaid readability" to find free readability checkers online.
- Substitute simpler words for more complex words (e.g., "use" instead of "utilize," "large" instead of "considerable").
- Be concise and eliminate filler phrases like "as a matter of fact" and "due to the fact."
- Use active voice (e.g., "The boy threw the ball," not "The ball was thrown by the boy.").
- Write out acronyms on first reference (e.g., "peripheral artery disease (PAD)").
- Avoid jargon such as inpatient, acute, hypertension or pulmonary. When you must use medical terminology, define it in simple terms.
- Use examples and analogies to explain or support complicated ideas.
- Avoid long blocks of text. Break your copy into shorter paragraphs and use bulleted lists to make it easy to scan and quickly grasp the meaning or find information.
- Anticipate readers' questions and answer them in your copy.