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Training in health literacy, plain language, and culture and communication is essential for anyone working in health information and services. Whether you are new to these topics, need a refresher, or want to train your entire staff, the following courses are a good place to start.

Start your health literacy training here…

Woman taking online health literacy course
Take an online health literacy course.

CDC offers three online health literacy courses for health professionals. We recommend that you take the introductory course “Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals” first. The other two courses can be taken in any order.

  1. Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals (free continuing education)
  2. Fundamentals of Communicating Health Risks
  3. Effective Communication for Healthcare Teams: Addressing Health Literacy, Limited English Proficiency and Cultural Differencesexternal icon (free continuing education)

The following four courses have been temporarily removed while undergoing an update.

  1. Writing for the Public
  2. Speaking with the Public
  3. Creating Easier to Understand Lists, Charts, and Graphs
  4. Using Numbers and Explaining Risk

Additional Training Resources

Good Questions for Good Health Training

A consumer and patient communication skill-building module. It encourages question-asking and provides strategies for formulating and asking questions before, during, and after medical appointments. The Toolkit pdf icon[1.7 MB, 17 pages] includes a presentation, pdf icon[727 KB, 26 Pages] presentation notes, skill building activity, take-home handout, and an evaluation form.

Listen to Dr. Rima Rudd, health literacy expert, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explain health literacy.

For more training materials on health literacy, plain language, cultural competency, consumer-patient skill building, and shared decision making, please visit our Non-CDC Training page.


Page last reviewed: April 20, 2021