CDC Clear Communication Index

The Clear Communication Index (Index) provides a set of research-based criteria to develop and assess public communication products. The Index supports the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010 and achieve goals set forth in the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and the CDC Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.

The 20 items in the Index build on and expand plain language techniques described in the Federal Plain Language Guidelines. The Index:
1. Identifies the most important communication characteristics that enhance clarity and aid understanding of public messages and materials.
2. Provides a research-based tool for staff to develop and assess communication products for CDC’s audiences, no matter the format or distribution channel; the index tool provides a numerical score so that you can objectively assess and improve materials based on the best available science .
3. Helps communicators assess materials in 7 areas (Main Message and Call to Action; Language; Information Design; State of the Science; Behavioral Recommendations; Numbers; Risk)

The links in the resources section below are for a User Guide and the CDC Clear Communication Index Score Sheet.

Click on the links below to access the resource. All links will open a new browser tab.

  1. CDC Clear Communication Index User Guide
  2. CDC Clear Communication Index Score Sheet
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