HeLLO! Tas (Health Literacy Learning Organisations) was a project began by TasCOSS in early 2016. DEN, alongside several other community organisations across Tasmania, were invited to be one of the first pilot sites to engage in a Health Literacy process and provide feedback on the HeLLO toolkit.
What is Health Literacy?
Health Literacy is the art of supporting individuals to make informed decisions. It is about making sure clients, consumers and participants of services are able to feel safe, listened to, and respected while also providing information and support that is easy to access and understand. Health Literacy is about all aspects of a service, from making sure signs are clear and easily understood, to plain language pamphlets, to an understanding of the importance of health literacy at all levels of an organisation.
The Pilot Project
TasCOSS and the participating Pilot Sites began a journey early in 2016 to begin a Health Literacy process in each organisation, as well as examining and refining the draft Toolkit. Pilot sites worked independently within their own organisations and met several times over the project period to share experiences, discuss issues and triumphs, and provide feedback on how the tools worked, looked and felt.
Maria and Zoe lead DEN’s initial Health Literacy journey and continue to champion our continuous improvement. DEN’s experience in resource creation placed the team in the perfect position to provide targeted feedback on the toolkit itself and the learning from the process has allowed the team to solidify our knowledge into something we can share with everyone.
The HeLLO Tas! Toolkit will take you on a journey to explore your organisation’s health literacy. This toolkit has been developed by community sector workers for community sector and smaller community health organisations. Our organisations are less complex than hospitals and other large institutions for which a lot of health literacy materials have been designed. Many of our organisations already have strong health literacy practices in place such as community engagement processes, easy access, and consumer involvement.