Webcast was held on August 29, 2007
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The National Institute for Literacy hosted a webcast on Wednesday August 29, 2007 to discuss the Health Literacy of America's Adults: Results of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) 2003. The Health Literacy of America's Adults is the first release of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) health literacy results. The results are based on assessment tasks designed specifically to measure the health literacy of adults living in the United States. Health literacy was reported using four performance levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate, and Proficient. The majority of adults (53 percent) had Intermediate health literacy. About 22 percent had Basic and 14 percent had Below Basic health literacy. Relationships between health literacy and background variables (such as educational attainment, age, race/ethnicity, where adults get information about health issues, and health insurance coverage) were also examined and reported. For example, adults with Below Basic or Basic health literacy were less likely than adults with higher health literacy to get information about health issues from written sources (newspapers, magazines, books, brochures, or the Internet) and more likely than adults with higher health literacy to get a lot of information about health issues from radio and television.
Dr. Sheida White directs the National Assessment of Adult Literacy at the National Center for Education Statistics (or NCES). Her doctoral degree is in linguistics from Georgetown University. After working as a full-time reading researcher for 6 years, she joined NCES in 1991. During the first 8 years at NCES, she monitored the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Since 1999, she has been directing the NAAL project. Dr. White has taught non-native English speaking adults. She created a guided reading program to address the reading comprehension needs of slow readers. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Language in Society and Reading Research Quarterly.
The webcast will be moderated by Dr. Sandra L. Baxter, Director of the National Institute for Literacy.