Wellbeing and Health Literacy

Please help us improve this resource! Complete our 60-second survey. We want to hear from you each time you visit, and it’s always anonymous.


Pollard, R. Q. & Barnett, S. (2009). Health-related vocabulary knowledge among deaf adults. Rehabilitation Psychology, 54(2), 182-185. 

Many deaf individuals are at increased risk for fund-of-information deficits, including deficits in health-related information. Research on health information knowledge, an aspect of health literacy, demonstrates an association between low health literacy and health disparities in many populations. Deaf individuals are at risk for low health literacy, but no research has been conducted on this topic. This study investigated the health-related knowledge in a sample of 57 deaf adults. Results found that even this highly educated deaf participant sample demonstrated risk for low health literacy. The general deaf population is likely at even higher risk for health problems associated with low health literacy.

Pollard, R., Dean, R., O’Hearn, A. & Hayes, S. (2009). Adapting health education materials for deaf audiences. Rehabilitation Psychology, 54(2), 232-238.

This resource discusses the approach of the Deaf Wellness Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center to adapt health education materials, including mental health information materials, for Deaf audiences. The approach seeks to bridge the literacy and fund-of-information gaps, as well as cultural differences, to make healthcare information more accessible and relevant for Deaf audiences. The methodology presented here has wide applicability to attempt to make public and mental health information accessible for Deaf signing audiences, including those with language deprivation.