[Missouri-l] Useful writing guide
dhuff at moblind.org
Tue Oct 26 18:00:49 CDT 2010
On October 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released
the Toolkit for Making Written Material Clear and Effective. The Toolkit is
an 11-part health literacy resource whose purpose is to help people create
written material in printed formats that are easier for people to read,
understand, and use. Originally released in 1999 under the title Writing
and Designing Print Materials for Beneficiaries: A Guide for State Medicaid
Agencies, this updated and expanded version describes how to develop
effective outreach products for all CMS populations. While the guidelines
and advice offered in the Toolkit are geared to the needs of CMS audiences,
most of them reflect general principles for effective communication of
information that can be applied to any audience.
The Toolkit includes detailed guidelines for writing, graphic design, and
culturally appropriate translation from English into other languages. It
includes a book-length guide to methods of testing written material with
readers, and covers special topics in writing and design. These special
topics include cautions about using readability formulas to assess material,
things to know if your material is for older adults, a comparison of written
material on websites versus written material in printed formats, and an
extended "before and after" example of using the Toolkit guidelines to
revise a brochure.
The Toolkit is available on the CMS website as a sequence of downloads which
you may view, save, or print from your personal computer. The direct link
to the Toolkit is <http://www.cms.gov/WrittenMaterialsToolkit>
http://www.cms.gov/WrittenMaterialsToolkit. You may also find it at
<http://www.cms.gov> http://www.cms.gov under Outreach & Education.
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