Health Literacy and Hearing Loss (HLOL #103)

Bonnie, Ranger, and Mickey at a conferenceBonnie Bartos PA-C, MHP, CDE is a Physician Assistant and Certified Diabetes Educator in the Mayo Clinic Health System. Her clinical focus is primary care, diabetes, and anticoagulation care. Bartos is a long-time health literacy advocate who uses pictograms as well as many other formats to teach patients who are visual learners, those who have poor literacy skills, use English as a second language, or have disabilities. Bartos knows the challenges of health education as she herself has a severe-to-profound hearing loss.

In this podcast, Bonnie Bartos talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • The spectrum of hearing loss, including how hearing loss can affect speech.
  • Strategies to communicate clearly with people who have hearing loss.
  • Types of technology designed to help people with hearing loss.
  • Bartos’s story about how she lost hearing. And ways her service dogs help.

More Ways to Learn:

  • Osborne H (host), Cushman C (guest). “Health Education for Children with Disabilities (HLOL #89),” January 8, 2013. Podcast at Transcript at
  • Osborne H, Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition published by Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. One chapter is “Know Your Audience: Hearing Loss.” Available at and most online bookstores.
  • Osborne H, “Communicating About Health with ASL.” First published in On Call magazine, June 2003. Now available at
  • Health Education in American Sign Language at
  • Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD) at
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at
  • Search the internet or your state’s information for advocacy groups or organizations and services for deafness and hearing loss.

To read a transcript of this podcast, go to

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