Applying Adult Literacy Research to the Practice of Public Communications

Science and Research:
Are emergency managers aware of the range of adult cognitive skills in their communities in the domains of literacy, numeracy, and computer-based problem-solving skills?  Is their awareness applied to developing emergency messages to adults in the community at appropriate readability levels? If a literacy gap exists between emergency managers and their intended audiences, could it be reduced by providing targeted training in literacy, numeracy, and computer-based problem-solving skills for emergency managers?

The PAST Fusion Cell partnered with the late Dr. Tom Phelan, a visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Hamilton College, to bring awareness of literacy skill level differences and conduct targeted training through the Public Affairs Academy to improve the effectiveness of risk and crisis communications for emergency managers and public affairs professionals.

 

Practice:
Through partnerships with subject-matter experts and communications scientists, the PAST Fusion Cell develops training curriculum and resources such as templates, workbooks, and quick reference guides to bring awareness of literacy skill level differences through the Public Affairs Academy to improve the effectiveness of risk and crisis communications for emergency managers and public affairs professionals.