Diabetes and Literacy

Diabetes and Literacy

Diabetes and Literacy

Date posted: November 14, 2018

Today is World Diabetes Day.

Literacy is an important factor in learning to manage personal health, including diabetes. The Diabetes Essential Skills Kit (DESK) is designed to help health practitioners and literacy practitioners work together with patients and learners to develop skills to help them manage pre-diabetes and diabetes. The kit consists of two online resources:

The Essential Skills Profiles resource covers tasks that individuals living with diabetes have to perform on a regular basis. They include the analysis of tasks used to understand a particular type of diabetes, tasks for managing different aspects of the condition, and tasks for managing complications due to diabetes. These Essential Skills profiles can be used to help identify skills that are a barrier to health, to choose learning activities to support skill development, to inform health practitioners of daily diabetes management tasks that could be simplified, and to inform literacy practitioners of the complexity of diabetes management.

The DESK Learning Modules address 6 common barriers to an individual’s independent diabetes self-management. These barriers are:

  • Reading and understanding information
  • Understanding and remembering information given verbally
  • Using math to manage diet
  • Using ratios to calculate insulin dosage
  • Filling in forms
  • Recognizing and analyzing patterns in blood glucose test results.

The 12 learning modules include activities from a variety of context including diabetes, employment and education, so they can be used in a number of settings with learners who have different goals. Each module includes an introduction, the Essential Skills levels (and Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework competencies and descriptors), practitioner instructions, lessons and handouts, and an answer key.

If you are looking for easy to read basic information on diabetes, one place to visit is the Learning About Diabetes website.

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