Resources & Style Guides for Framing Health Equity & Avoiding Stigmatizing Language

Links to references, other resources, and style guides to frame health equity and avoid stigmatizing language

Health Equity Guiding Principles Fact Sheet

An introduction to inclusive communication
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  • CIDI webinarsexternal icon
    Webinars and tools that provide training and awareness on COVID-19 and accessibility to all
    Source: Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI)
  • Accessibility @ HHSexternal icon
    HHS’ role in accessibility; includes compliance checklist, Office of the Secretary Accessibility Program, and other resources
    Source: HHS 508 compliance
Community Engagement
  • Principles of Community Engagement
    Guidance for engaging partners in projects that may affect them available in English, Spanish, and French
    Source: CDC/ATSDR Principles of Community Engagement
  • Community Engagement Playbook
    Playbook to guide CDC/ATSDR staff, funded partners, public health professionals, and state, territorial, local, and tribal (STLT) partners through four phases and nine key activities of community engagement.
    Source: CDC/ATSDR
  • National CLAS Standardsexternal icon
    HHS’ Office of Minority Health national standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health and health care framework for organizations to serve the nation’s increasingly diverse communities
    Source: National CLAS Standards
Disparities, Race/Ethnicity
Drug/Substance Abuse
  • Commonly Used Terms
    Definition of terms related to drug/substance use; preferred terms
    Source: CDC/NCIPC
Ethical Considerations
Health Equity
Health Literacy & Numeracy
  • Weight Bias Resourcesexternal icon
    Resources for people-first language for obesity, guidelines for media portrayals of people with obesity, and an image gallery of appropriate images of people with obesity
    Source: Obesity Action Coalition
  • Beyond Labelsexternal icon
    CDC-funded project to reduce health-related stigma around health conditions or behaviors during pregnancy
    Source: March of Dimes
Race & Ethnicity
Scientific Writing
Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
Similar Guidelines
  • Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Conceptsexternal icon
    AMA/AAMC guidance for physicians and other health care professionals that promotes equity-focused-person-first language and why it matters
    Source: American Medical Association (AMA) Center for Health Equity, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Health Justice
  • Bias-Free Languageexternal icon
    APA guidelines that cover many important topics, including age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status
    Source: American Psychological Association (APA)
Social Determinants of Health
Tribes, States, Territories, & Freely Associated States
Page last reviewed: April 18, 2022