Center for Health Literacy Promotion - Action research for effective use of health info & services
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Center for Health Literacy Promotion Blog

Lessons for Health Literacy from Advertising

A piece from the marketing blog Drumbeat, encourages those with products for people with disabilities to use available data to better understand their audience and so communicate with them more effectively. That’s a good lesson for us who would promote health literacy - use the data, know  your audience.
 
The more important lesson is this
“The disability market, as a whole, is a diverse, vibrant community of people whose lives are shaped in varying degrees by their disability. Some embrace it, some mitigate it, some undertake procedures to eliminate it. But all of them have one thing in common: it is not “seeking help.” They desire dignity, a sense of control, and a quality of life just like their non-disabled peers.”
 
We in the helping professions want to help people. Most do not want help, they neither want nor need  to be rescued. By helping and rescuing them, we make them small and needy and  make ourselves feel good.  Health literacy is empowering because and to the degree that it enables a person to gain control over their health and its determinants.  
 
It is time to ask, How does this intervention increase this person's/family's sense of control and quality of life?  We should not be asking, How can we help this person?,  or how can we get him to comply?, but rather, What can we empower and enable this person to do for her health?
 
Source:Marketing ROI: Advertising Effectively to Consumers with Disabilities
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